A security guard shot and killed a homeless man after he allegedly walked into a Target store and stabbed two people, including a 7-year-old boy, with a large butcher knife he grabbed off a shelf, according to police.
The incident happened around 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday evening at a Target near Figueroa and 7th Streets in Los Angeles, California, when police say the man entered the store and grabbed a butcher knife with a 9-inch blade from a shelf before confronting the 7-year-old boy, according to Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore.
Moore said, “(He) confronted him and told the young boy he was going to stab him and kill him,” “He stated this several times. The young child tried to flee and leave, to ignore him and to move away. Without further provocation, the suspect attacked and stabbed this child in the back.”
Following the initial stabbing, the suspect approached a group of women and “brutally” stabbed a 25-year-old woman in the chest, according to Moore.
According to officials, the boy was stabbed in the back and shoulder area and fell to the floor. Good Samaritans reportedly rescued the 25-year-old woman by pulling her into the store’s pharmacy area and closing the gate behind them.
According to KABC, the suspect then moved to the front of the store and was confronted by an armed Target security guard who reportedly tried to defuse the situation with his baton before switching to his gun when the suspect allegedly continued to approach him with the 9-inch blade.
According to KABC, the security guard shot the man at least once in the torso before Los Angeles Police Department officers who happened to be in the nearby shopping complex next to Target responded to the scene and arrested the stabbing suspect.
According to authorities, the incident caused mass panic in the store as customers fled the scene of the crime, and one woman was trampled and bruised in the stampede.
“Out of nowhere, we heard people screaming,” Kevin Zaragoza, who was shopping at Target with his brother at the time of the stabbings, told KABC after the incident. “We rushed to the front of the line. We see a girl on the floor near the exit with blood all over her. Following that, we see the entire LAPD swarming in there with shotguns and other weapons. It was insane.”
According to officials, the 7-year-old boy who was stabbed underwent surgery after the attack and is currently listed in stable condition, though he may have suffered potential neurological damage as a result of the stabbing. The 25-year-old woman was also taken to the hospital and had surgery for a deep stab wound in her chest. Authorities have not yet provided an update on her condition, but they have confirmed that the suspect is unrelated to either of the victims involved in the stabbing.
According to police, the suspect who was shot by the security guard during the altercation was also taken to the hospital but died from the gunshot wound he received following the stabbings.
The incident is still being investigated.
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