Los Angeles, CA – A nine-year-old boy was stabbed in the back and a woman was stabbed in the chest during a horrific attack inside a downtown Los Angeles Target store on Tuesday night.
The incident occurred at approximately 6:20 p.m. on Nov. 15 at a shopping complex near 7th Street and Figueroa Street, KABC reported.
Investigators said the suspect – an unidentified homeless man – walked into the Target store and stole a butcher knife with a nine- or 10-inch blade off of a shelf.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Michel Moore said the suspect then walked up to a random nine-year-old boy and told him he was going to kill him, KABC reported.
“[He] confronted him and told the young boy he was going to stab him and kill him,” Chief Moore said. “He repeated that more than once.”
The little boy attempted to run away, at which point the suspect suddenly plunged the knife into his back, according to the chief.
The boy collapsed to the floor with a deep wound to the back of his shoulder, KABC reported.
Investigators said the suspect left the child and made his way over to a group of women, then stabbed one of them in the chest.
“Out of nowhere, we heard people screaming,” customer Kevin Zaragoza told KABC. “We rushed to the front. Right there by the exit we see a girl on the floor, blood all over her.”
Witnesses jumped in to help the wounded woman and were able to get her to safety inside the pharmacy, KABC reported.
The good Samaritans closed the pharmacy gate to keep the attacker out.
As the suspect made his way to the front of the store, he was confronted by an armed store security guard, KABC reported.
Police said the uniformed guard initially planned to use his baton to stop the violent suspect, but that the suspect refused to stop and charged towards him with the knife.
The guard then drew his firearm and shot him, hitting him at least once in his torso, KABC reported.
The gunman collapsed to the ground as terrified shoppers tried to flee the store to safety.
One woman suffered bruising to her face after being trampled by a stampeding mob, KABC reported.
Multiple LAPD officers who happened to be dealing with another call for service nearby immediately ran to the Target store and took the wounded suspect into custody.
He was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Chief Moore confirmed.
The identity of the suspect, who was described only as a 40-year-old black male, was not immediately released, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Chief Moore said the woman who was stabbed in the chest suffered a deep wound and was undergoing surgery, KABC reported.
She was listed in critical condition on Tuesday, KNBC reported.
She was estimated to be approximately 25 years old, according to the news outlet.
The little boy was listed in stable condition after a surgical procedure, but doctors fear he may have suffered neurological damage as a result of the horrific attack, Chief Moore said.
“The fact that you have an unprovoked attack on a child strikes all of us,” Chief Moore said, according to CNN. “This isn’t something that’s acceptable in Los Angeles and by no means is anywhere near the norm.”
A motive for the attack was not immediately released and police said they believe the victims were chosen at random.