Called to the scene by witnesses who reported a stabbing, police shot a man who was believed to have violently attacked a woman in Santa Ana on Friday afternoon.
Both the female stabbing victim and her assailant were hospitalized in critical condition and had gone into surgery, Santa Ana Police Department spokesman Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
Three male employees walked out of a commercial building where they worked in the 1900 block of South Susan Street (map) at about 12:20 p.m., and saw a man stabbing a woman who worked at a neighboring apparel business, Spektrum Manufacturing.
The employees and a nearby truck driver began beating the assailant with two-by-fours and metal pipes, trying to get him off the woman, Bertagna said.
They were able to get him to stop repeatedly stabbing the woman, forcing him away.
"Had they not intervened, things certainly could have gotten worse," Bertagna said.
Still wielding a knife, the attacker walked around the corner and was followed by the employees, who called 911 to tell police where the man was, according to Bertagna.
When officers arrived, the attacker was shot by officers in the area of Susan and Harvard streets, Bertagna said.
"What precipitated that shooting, at this point, is being investigated by the District Attorney's Office, and our crimes against persons unit, as well as internal affairs," Bertagna said.
A knife was recovered at the scene, according to the corporal.
Homicide detectives were trying to determine the relationship between the attacker and the victim.
Authorities initially said the men who went to the stabbing victim's aid were coworkers, but police later clarified that the men worked at a neighboring business.