At about 4:15 pm PT, a suspect stabbed three staff members in the hotel's restaurant, one staff member in the kitchen, and the front desk clerk up one level.
Saanich police Sgt. Chris Horsley said the suspect was not only known to the victims: He was their boss.
Horsley said the suspect was previously known to police, but only in a good way.
"He's always been the person who has assisted us. If there's a fight in the bar, getting the video surveillance," Horsley said.
Horsley said it's still not clear why he turned on the employees.
"There doesn't appear to be any sort of precursors to the assaults. There were no disputes or arguments," he said.
"The suspect was simply walking through the hotel and randomly stabbing the employees."
Police are recommending charges of aggravated assault against the 52-year-old man.
The victims received minor wounds to either their arms, chests, or backs.
Horsley said the weapon was a pair of scissors.
All five victims have since been released from hospital.
The Red Lion Inn has since reopened.