On Tuesday, two days after Dr. Garson Romalis' conversation with Norah Hutchinson over tea, he was stabbed seconds after entering the medical building that houses his office.
Romalis' injuries were not considered life-threatening, and he was in stable condition under police guard overnight in Vancouver General Hospital.
Several witnesses said the assailant, a white man in his 20s or 30s wearing a hooded dark grey or black sweatsuit, waited for some time for Romalis to arrive and even used a restroom in a pharmacy in the clinic's lobby.
After attacking the doctor, the man escaped through the clinic parking lot. A valet chased him in vain for more than a block.
Parking valet Jesse Brouwer said Romalis drove up the central ramp into the parking lot just before 1 p.m. and got out of his car as usual to leave it for the valet.
He entered the clinic through a door in the parking lot, realized he had forgotten his briefcase and returned to the still-idling car.
When Romalis entered the building a second time, he was stabbed in the left rib cage and the assailant fled out the same parking lot door, down the ramp and out to the street, Brouwer said.
"He yelled: 'Grab that man. Grab that man,' " Brouwer said. "When he came out again, he was grabbing his stomach."
One attendant chased the man while Brouwer sought assistance for Romalis.
"This is a medical facility so there were lots of doctors around. He was collapsing," he said. "He held up pretty good considering."
"He's a very calm person anyway," Brouwer said. "He was flailing and hunched over."
He said Romalis was so intent on catching the attacker it took him awhile to realize that the doctor had been stabbed.
"This was obviously a planned attack," Brouwer said. "I saw one guy hanging around, but there was nobody who seemed to be out of place."
"Whoever was the assailant, they were most likely watching from a point."
About an hour before the stabbing, police were called to Everywoman's Health Center because of aggressive anti-abortion protesters on the lawn of the house next door.
Three white men, two of whom had not been there before, were trying to intimidate women entering the clinic, to the point where staff were concerned enough to call police.
The three left about noon after talking to police officers.