Two stabbing victims are in the hospital after a homeless man walked into a downtown Los Angeles Target, picked up a pair of knives from the store’s kitchenware section and started slashing people, including a 9-year-old boy.
Calls about the incident, which occurred near Figueroa and 7th Streets, came in around 6:20 p.m., police said.
According to Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore, the unprovoked attacked started when the suspect, “dressed in homeless attire,” confronted the boy, saying he was going to “stab him and kill him.”
The suspect then stabbed the 9-year-old in the back left shoulder with a long-bladed butcher-style knife.
Another victim, a 25-year-old woman, was brutally stabbed in the chest, causing her to fall to the ground. Good Samaritans were able to pull her into the pharmacy.
An armed Target security guard confronted the suspect and tried to deescalate the situation before firing his gun, possibly two times, at the advancing man, hitting him in the stomach.
Uniformed police officers were in the downtown shopping complex on another call, according to Moore, responded to the incident and took the suspect into custody.
The 9-year-old, who was originally reported as being 7 years old, was transported to the hospital and is in stable but critical condition due to potential neurological damage from the stab wounds.
A second victim, a 25-year-old woman, is in serious condition after suffering deep stab wounds to the chest. She is currently in surgery.
Another woman, originally thought to have been a victim of the suspect, suffered minor injuries as crowds fled the store.
Police said the suspect, described only as a Black male, has been pronounced dead.
Moore said that police will remain at the scene through the early morning hours, reviewing security cameras, collecting evidence and investigating the incident.