VANCOUVER - Separate early morning stabbings in the Vancouver area have left two people dead and sent a third to hospital.
The first incident occurred at about 1 a.m. on Friday morning in the east side of Vancouver, when a 17-year-old boy was attacked during a dispute between two groups at a Japanese restaurant.
The teen, who investigators say was known to police, died a short time later in hospital.
The second stabbing occurred at around the same time in Surrey, where a 22-year-old man and 17-year-old youth were attacked.
The 22-year-old died a short time later in hospital, while Sgt. Adam MacIntosh of the region's homicide unit says the 17-year-old was in hospital in serious condition.
Police have identified possible witnesses in both slayings and are urging anyone with information to come forward.
In particular, police are looking for the driver of a late-model Honda Civic, who is believed to be linked to the stabbing in Surrey.
"Investigators are in the process of trying to determine the roles everyone played in this altercation," said MacIntosh.
The driver is believed to be in his 40s or 50s.
Homicide investigators believe the vehicle could have damage to the driver's door and window.
Vancouver police also wanted to talk to several people who left the Japanese restaurant in east Vancouver before police had a chance to speak with them.
Const. Brian Montague says the dispute inside the restaurant escalated quickly and officers believe the person who stabbed the victim was part of a larger group of men and women not directly involved in the fight.
Vancouver detectives hoped members of that group could help identify a suspect.
No names have been released.