A young store employee may have saved a woman's life as she was stabbed in front of a Barrhaven Shoppers Drug Mart on Strandherd Road.

Media reports say Brenda Van Leyen, a Canada Post worker, had recently left her boyfriend.

Around 4 p.m., Van Leyen was stabbed near the store and the 21-year-old Shoppers employee tried to step in. She was left in serious condition with multiple stab wounds, and is still in hospital.

The Shoppers employee was also stabbed, but treated in hospital and released.

Police are hunting for a man who is said to have attacked Van Leyen and the employee.

As Ottawa police responded to the call, one cruiser struck a pedestrian. A 43-year-old man -- also a Shoppers employee -- was taken to hospital with serious leg and head injuries.

Police closed the Strandherd-side entrance to the mall Friday night pending an investigation, which is ongoing. The force's special investigations unit has been called in.

Anyone with information should contact Ottawa police at 613-236-1222 ext. 5493 or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477 (TIPS).