Suspect in unprovoked stabbing shot to death by police in DC suburb, police say

22 July 2023

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — A police officer in a Washington, D.C., suburb shot and killed a man after reports he had, without provocation, stabbed four people at random on Saturday, officials said.

The victims included three women — two were stabbed in the neck — and a man, all of whom are expected to survive, Montgomery County Police Assistant Chief Darren Francke told reporters during a Saturday afternoon news conference at the scene. Three were hospitalized with injuries.

The suspect’s identity has not been released.

Francke said the man used a 12-inch butcher knife in the stabbings, which started at a popular thrift store in Silver Spring, Maryland, and then continued in the surrounding neighborhood. While the investigation is ongoing, Francke said, detectives don’t believe the suspect knew any of the victims. He said the attacks appear “completely random.”

“We have witnesses. We are continuing our interviews, but at this point it was an unprovoked attack,” he said.

Police received reports around 10:35 a.m. of a stabbing at the thrift store. Almost simultaneously, another caller reported a second stabbing on a nearby street, according to police.

The suspect ran into a wooded area while police started setting up a perimeter. Francke said the man then came out of the woods and “confronted a police cruiser.” He said another officer soon arrived on scene, saw the man armed with a knife, gave commands and ultimately opened fire, killing the suspect.

“The officer fired multiple rounds and the subject was stopped from attacking further people,” Francke said.

The suspect died at the scene.

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office is investigating the police shooting, which is standard procedure under state law. That office will turn over the results of its investigation to local prosecutors, who will decide whether the officer could face criminal charges.

Officials said the shooting was captured on body camera and the footage will likely be released in the coming weeks, as well as the names of the officer and suspect.

Francke said the incident was out of character for the otherwise quiet suburban area.

“Montgomery County is a very safe community,” he said. “On a Saturday afternoon where folks are having a yard sale and just shopping at a very popular thrift store, we don’t expect this. We certainly don’t accept it.”

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