WINNIPEG – Winnipeg police say they don’t know if a lawyer seriously injured in a bomb explosion at a family law firm Friday was the target of the blast.
But investigators say they don’t think the attack represents a danger to the broader public.
“We have no reason to believe this is an attack on the justice system,” Police Supt. Danny Smyth told reporters Friday afternoon.
“We’re not considering this to be a general threat to lawyers, law firms or the general public. We’re treating this right now as a very specific crime, until we learn otherwise. Certainly we haven’t given any direction to law firms in general to be cautious about opening their mail.”
Police confirmed that lawyer Maria Mitousis, 35, was seriously injured in the blast.
One source who spoke to The Canadian Press on the condition of anonymity said the woman lost a hand and was in danger of losing the other one.
Mitousis describes herself on Twitter as “an active member of the Greek community.”
Sources within the legal community said she was in a common-law relationship with Barry Gorlick, a Winnipeg lawyer who was disbarred recently after admitting to 15 counts of professional misconduct.
Another downtown firm where both Mitousis and Gorlick previously worked was also swept by police as a precaution.
Police said they were called to the scene mid-morning Friday. An officer was only a block away at the time of the call and arrived quickly to give Mitousis first aid.
Investigators did not know how the device ended up at the law firm.
“I am not sure how this device came to be in her possession, whether it was mailed or dropped off or something like that,” said Const. Eric Hofley.
Even though police believe no one else was at risk, the Law Society of Manitoba sent a warning to members noting that other firms have received suspicious mail recently.
“Under the circumstances, it would be prudent to exercise caution when dealing with mail and deliveries,” the society said.
Mitousis’s LinkedIn profile says she was on the board of the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church for five years.
It also says she is a board member of the Hellenic Professional Association of Manitoba, which she says promotes Greek culture in Manitoba and mentors youth in the Greek community.