An 18-year-old man is recovering in hospital following a vicious attack at a south Winnipeg apartment complex parking lot Friday night.

Winnipeg police said they believe the man was helping unload a vehicle in the 1800-block of Pembina Highway with his family, including his 7-year-old niece when a man approached.

“Without any conversation or reasoning, the male suspect ran towards the 18-year-old victim and knocked the niece over. He then repeatedly stabbed the 18-year-old victim before fleeing the area,” said a police news release Sunday.

Police said around 11:25 p.m. emergency services responded to the report of a stabbing.

Police said an 18-year-old man was stabbed more than three times in the upper body and transported to hospital in critical condition. He was later upgraded to stable condition.

"These are injures that are going to be with him for the rest of his life and are potentially lif altering, so very serious and so you can only imagine the traumatic experience that seven year old endured," said Const. Jay Murray.

Investigators do not believe the suspect and victims were known to each other.

Murray called it a horrific and senseless act of violence, and said he doesn't believe there was anything the family could have to done to stop it.

He said police don't know the motive for the attack and don't have evidence showing it was drug related, a reminder incidents can happen without a specific reason behind them.

Murray said the 7-year-old girl was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

Police said around 1:35 p.m. Saturday, Major Crimes Unit officers located a male in the 1800-block of Pembina Highway and placed him under arrest.

20-year-old Nathaniel Sean Capay of Winnipeg, has been charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon and failing to comply with a probation order, police said.

He was detained in custody.

Residents troubled

A man who lives in the building tells CTV News he heard screaming around midnight.

He says he came down to the ground floor and saw on police officers and police tape up around the parking lot. 

He showed CTV News spots of blood near the main entrance left behind from the attack. 

Holly Tan has been living at the building for the past four years. 

“It could have been me if I came home 30 minutes earlier,” she said Sunday.

“I came home and saw police in front of the entrance. They prevented me from walking inside and asked me to use the back door. I came into the elevator and a lot of people had gathered because they heard children crying,” said Tan.

“Neighbours said a man was unloading groceries, when someone came out of nowhere and stabbed him,” she added.

"I thought it was a fire or something. I didn't think it was a violent incident."

Tan said she now hopes management installs more lighting and more cameras for better security.

A caretaker for Towers Realty Group confirmed the incident took place at Drury Manor at 1833 Pembina Highway, but declined to comment further. CTV News has reached out to management for more information about the incident, and has yet to hear back.