Adrian, MI – A 29-year-old woman with a concealed pistol license stopped a suspect who had just stabbed an 85-year-old man to death in a Michigan Meijer store on Wednesday.
Police responded to a report of a stabbing in progress at the Meijer on U.S. 223 at about 12:30 p.m. Sept. 16, the Adrian Daily Telegram reported.
Responding officers found the victim between the automotive section and the sporting good section of the store, suffering from multiple stab wounds to the head and neck.
A female shopper who witnessed the incident drew her legally-owned handgun from her purse and ordered the knife-wielding attacker to the ground, the Adrian Daily Telegram reported.
Police said the woman held 29-year-old suspect Alarik Guajardo at gunpoint until officers arrived and took him into custody.
Officers later found the suspect’s knife on a shelf where he threw it when the armed woman ordered him to get on the ground, the Adrian Daily Telegram reported.
Adrian Police Chief Vincent Emrick said that there had been multiple witnesses to the fatal stabbing of the elderly customer.
“At this time, we’re reviewing video footage from the store surveillance cameras as well as cellphone camera footage from witnesses at the scene,” Chief Emrick told reporters. “We know (the victim and assailant) came in separately, but that’s pretty much all we know at this point.”
Lenawee County Prosecutor Burke Castleberry told the Detroit News that the incident was “a public confrontation that turns fatal.”
The prosecutor also dispelled social media rumors that the confrontation was caused by an argument over wearing a face mask inside the store.
“This has nothing to do with a mask, to my knowledge, at this point,” Castleberry said. “I don’t think a mask played a part at all.”
He would not reveal what authorities believe sparked the fatal confrontation, the Detroit News reported.
Guajardo was arrested and charged with open murder, carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a weapon with unlawful intent.
Lenawee County court records showed that Guajardo pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated assault in May of 2013 after he was initially charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, the Detroit News reported.
He was sentenced to two years of probation for the conviction.