GARDEN GROVE, Calif – A man killed four people and wounded two others in multiple stabbings at several locations in Orange County before being arrested Wednesday, Garden Grove police said.
Police said a 33-year-old Hispanic male from Garden Grove was arrested outside a 7-11 in Santa Ana, after a series of robberies and violent attacks that Lt. Carl Whitney with Garden Grove Police Department called “pure evil” at a news conference. The suspect’s identity was not immediately released.
The series of events began when police were alerted to a burglary at a Garden Grove apartment complex shortly after 4 p.m., Whitney said. The apartment had clearly been ransacked.
Then around 4:23 p.m., police got a report of a robbery at a bakery in Garden Grove. No one was injured in that incident. Police gathered from witnesses that the suspect was driving a silver Mercedes.
Officers were then called back to the same apartment at Jentges Avenue shortly after 5 p.m., where the suspect had apparently returned and stabbed two men who lived there, police said. One victim was found inside the apartment while another was outside.
One was pronounced dead at the scene. The other was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, Whitney said.
At 5:40 p.m., police were alerted to robbery in progress at a Cash N More. No one was harmed in that robbery.
About 25 minutes later, police were called to another robbery in progress, this time at Best One insurance agency at Harbor Boulevard and Garden Grove Boulevard.
A witness said that a female employee was stabbed multiple times before the suspect fled the business. Police said the victim was conscious and talking, and is expected to survive.
Police were alerted to another stabbing around 6:09 p.m. at a Chevron at Harbor Boulevard and Banner Drive. A man was pumping gas when the suspect confronted him and attacked. Witnesses reported seeing the suspect attack “with multiple knives or machetes,” Whitney said.
Whitney said the victim suffered “a laceration to face, where his nose was almost severed off,” and suffered stab wounds to his back. That man was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive.
Around 6:25 p.m., law enforcement located the suspect’s silver Mercedes at a 7-11 store at Harbor and 1st Street in Santa Ana.
Whitney said officers confronted the suspect as he left the 7-11 carrying a knife and a handgun. The suspect dropped both weapons and complied with officers’ demands, and was taken into custody.
Before police arrived, the suspect had disarmed a security guard inside the 7-11 and stabbed him. That security guard was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to Commander Robert Rodriguez with Santa Ana Police Department.
Officers at the scene then learned that just before they arrived, the suspect had stabbed a customer during a robbery inside a Subway restaurant across the street. Responding Santa Ana police and paramedics attempted life-saving measures, but the man did not survive.
Whitney said all deceased victims were Hispanic males.
Police do not have a clear motive at this time. Whitney called the attacked random acts of violence and said the suspect was not associated with any of the victims.
“Robbery, hate, homicide. This is all of the above,” Whitney said. “It’s just pure tragedy right now.”
The incident remains under investigation by both Garden Grove and Santa Ana police departments.