On July 30, 2008, Tim McLean, a carnival barker, was coming back home to Winnipeg after working at a fair in Edmonton. He departed Edmonton on board Greyhound bus 1170 to Winnipeg, via the Yellowhead Highway through Saskatchewan. He sat at the back, one row ahead of the toilet. At 6:55 p.m., the bus departed from a stop in Erickson, Manitoba, with a new passenger, Vince Weiguang Li. Li, narrated as a tall man in his 40s, with a bald head and sunglasses, originally sat near the front of the bus but moved to sit next to McLean after a scheduled rest stop. McLean “barely acknowledged” Li, then fell asleep against the windowpane, headphones covering his ears.
Mclean was sleeping
According to observers, McLean was sleeping with his headphones on when the man sitting next to him unexpectedly produced a large knife and started stabbing him in the neck and chest. After the assault started, the bus driver pulled to the side of the road, and he and all the other passengers left the vehicle. The driver and two other men tried to rescue McLean but were chased away by Li, who slashed at them from behind the locked bus doors. Li eventually decapitated McLean and showed his severed head to those standing outside the bus, then returned to McLean’s body and started detaching other parts and consuming some of McLean’s flesh.
At 8:30 p.m., the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Portage la Prairie received a report of a stabbing on a Greyhound bus west of the city. They reached to find the suspect still on board the bus, being prevented from fleeing by another passenger, the bus driver, and a truck driver who had given a crowbar and a hammer as weapons. The other passengers were gathered at the roadside, some of them crying and vomiting. As the suspect had earlier tried to escape by driving the bus away, the driver had engaged the emergency immobilizer system, making the vehicle inoperable. Witnesses had observed the suspect stabbing and slashing McLean’s body with a knife, and carrying McLean’s severed head.
By 9:00 p.m., police were in a standoff with the suspect and had summoned special negotiators and a heavily armed tactical unit. The suspect alternately paced the length of the bus and defiled the body. Police officers then observed Li consuming parts of the body. Meanwhile, the stranded passengers were transported from the scene to be questioned at the Brandon RCMP detachment. RCMP officers reportedly heard Li say, “I have to stay on the bus forever.”
On July 31, 2008, at 1:30 a.m., the suspect tried to flee from the bus by breaking through a window. The RCMP apprehended Li soon afterward. He was shot with a Taser twice, handcuffed, and placed in the back of a police cruiser. Parts of the victim’s corpse, placed in plastic bags, were obtained from the bus, while his ear, nose, and tongue were found in Li’s pockets. The victim’s eyes and a part of his heart were never recovered and are assumed to have been eaten by Li.
At 10:00 a.m., Greyhound representatives took the other passengers to a regional store to replace their clothing, which stayed on the bus. They reached Winnipeg at 3:30 p.m. that day, to be reunited with family members and friends.