Garden Grove, CA – A knife-wielding suspect murdered four people and injured two more during a series of eight random attacks on Wednesday evening.
Investigators said that the unnamed 33-year-old Hispanic male suspect had no apparent connection to the victims – all of whom were also Hispanic, KESQ reported.
Garden Grove Police Lieutenant Carl Whitney said during a press conference on Wednesday that the violent stabbing spree was an act of “pure evil,” according to KTLA.
The first attack occurred at an apartment complex on Jentges Avenue just after 4 p.m., when police received a report of a burglary in progress, KCBS reported.
Officers arrived to find that the apartment had been ransacked, according to KTLA.
Minutes later, at approximately 4:23 p.m., police received a report of a robbery at a bakery on Chapman Avenue.
No one was injured during that incident, but witnesses told police that the suspect was armed with a gun and a knife, according to KCBS.
Witnesses also told police that the killer fled the scene in a silver Mercedes.
Just after 5 p.m., officers were dispatched to the same Jentges Avenue apartment where the burglary had occurred approximately an hour before, KTLA reported.
They arrived to find that one of the victims had been murdered.
A second victim was rushed to a local hospital, where he was also pronounced dead, according to KTLA.
Approximately 30 minutes later, officers received a report of a robbery in progress at Cash N More on Harbor Boulevard. No one at the check cashing business was injured during the incident.
At about 6:05 p.m., the suspect struck again – this time at an insurance agency located at Garden Grove Boulevard and Harbor Boulevard.
The attacker repeatedly stabbed a 54-year-old female employee at that location and then fled the area, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“This female employee was very brave; this guy was armed with knives,” Lt. Whitney said. “She fought as best as she could against this armed suspect and sustained multiple stab wounds.”
The victim is expected to survive her injuries, police said.
Just over an hour later, officers were dispatched to a report of a stabbing at a Chevron station located at Banner Drive and Harbor Boulevard, KTLA reported.
Witnesses told police that the suspect was armed with “multiple knives or machetes,” and that he attacked a man who was pumping gas, according to Lt. Whitney.
“[The victim suffered] a laceration to [his] face, where his nose was almost severed off,” the lieutenant said.
He was also stabbed in the back, KTLA reported.
The victim was rushed to a local hospital and was expected to survive.
Officers spotted the rampaging attacker’s vehicle at a 7-Eleven store in Santa Ana at approximately 6:25 p.m. and confronted him as he was exiting the business armed with a gun and knife.
He complied with the officer’s commands, dropped both weapons, and was taken into custody without further incident, KTLA reported.
Officers made their way inside the store and discovered that the suspect had disarmed and stabbed the 7-11 security guard prior to their arrival.
The security guard was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Santa Ana Police Commander Robert Rodriguez said.
Police soon learned that the attacker also murdered a customer at a Subway restaurant across the street from the 7-11 store just prior to their arrival, KTLA reported.
The Santa Ana Police Department and the Garden Grove Police Department are working to establish a motive as they continue to investigate the series of horrific attacks.
“Robbery, hate, homicide – this is all of the above,” Lt. Whitney said, according to KTLA. “It’s just pure tragedy right now.”
Police said that the suspect also lived at the same apartment complex where he committed the first two murders.