Four people are dead and a suspect is in custody after a violent rampage involving a series of deadly stabbings and robbers through Orange County, California on Wednesday, police said. Additionally, two people were badly wounded among at least three armed robberies.
The stabbings appeared to have no obvious motive other than, in some instances, armed robbery. The Garden Grove Police Department said it started when the suspect, a 33-year-old male Garden Grover resident, robbed a bakery on Chapman Avenue in Garden Grove and took cash at knifepoint. He also reportedly broke into an apartment of one of his neighbors in the complex where he lives; those residents reported a break-in just after 4 p.m.
Before police could respond to take a routine burglary report, a new one came in 30 minutes later of a homicide at the address. One person at the apartment was pronounced dead at the scene with stab wounds. Another was transported to a hospital with multiple stab wounds and later succumbed to his injuries, police said.
"We believe our two victims in the apartment somehow confronted the suspect and an altercation occurred," Garden Grove Lt. Carl Whitney said at a press conference Wednesday night. "We've learned, so far, that our suspect does reside here in the same apartment complex."
Two more robberies occurred at local businesses in the area. One woman, who is expected to survive, fought back against the attacker after she was stabbed at an insurance business in Garden Grove. Police said a man was pumping gas at a Chevron gas station when the suspect approached him; although he suffered lacerations to the face, he is reportedly expected to survive.
"A lot of citizens came forward and rendered aid to the guy with his nose nearly that was nearly severed off," Whitney said. "They were willing to come forward and help the police department, give us information that was crucial in getting this guy identified and help this guy who was stabbed and sustained serious injuries. The public really stepped up to help this guy."
Breaking: Man’s nose nearly severed by suspect w machete in rampage in OC says @GardenGrovePD. He’s 1 of 6 stabbed but he survived. 4 are dead. Motive may be robbery. Suspect caught @cbsla #cbsla #homicides pic.twitter.com/2PVJEE5qv7— michele gile (@CBSmichelegile) August 8, 2019
The suspect then traveled to nearby Santa Ana, where another person was fatally stabbed at a Subway parking lot on 1st Street.
Whitney said that undercover officers located the suspect's vehicle, a silver Mercedes registered in his name, in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven on Harbor Boulevard and 1st Street and called for backup.
The suspect was arrested after he left the store carrying a knife and a handgun that he had reportedly stolen from a security guard on the scene after stabbing him. The guard was rushed to the hospital but later died.
Whitney said the "random acts of violence" were not related to one another and that the suspect "was not associated with any of our victims."
"We don't know. It's just pure hatred that this guy did this," Whitney said when asked about a motive.