GARDEN GROVE (CBSLA) — A 33-year-old man has been arrested in a violent stabbing and robbery spree that started in Garden Grove and ended at a 7-Eleven in Santa Ana Wednesday evening, leaving four people dead and two more critically wounded.
The entire incident began a little after 4 p.m. and ended at around 6:30 p.m. Cameras captured footage of the suspect being apprehended by police.
Two men were stabbed to death at a Garden Grove apartment complex, a man was stabbed and killed at a Subway restaurant in Santa Ana and a security guard was stabbed and killed at a 7-Eleven in Santa Ana. A woman who was stabbed at a Garden Grove insurance business and a man who was stabbed and nearly had his nose severed off while pumping gas at a Chevron station survived, but are both in critical condition.
The suspect was armed with a gun and a large knife when he was arrested, Garden Grove police said. He appeared to have picked his victims at random. Investigators do not yet have a motive for the attacks.
The suspect and four of the victims were Hispanic, while two others were white, according to police, but investigators have not yet identified any motive.
“At this point, we don’t know, it’s just pure hate this guy did this,” Garden Grove police Lt. Carl Whitney said.
The first attack occurred just before 4:10 p.m. at an apartment complex on Jentges Avenue where the suspect is believed to live. Police say the suspect stabbed and killed 62-year-old man and a second man to death when they confronted him during a burglary. One of the victims died at the scene, while the second died after being rushed to a hospital.
Just before 4:30 p.m., a robbery was reported at a bakery in the 13000 block of Chapman Avenue, police said. Witnesses said the suspect had a knife and a gun. No one was hurt at this location.
“He went directly to the register and tried to open the register,” the bakery owner, who did not want to be identified, told CBS2 Wednesday night. “So I said to him, ‘what’s going on, what are you doing?’ And he told me, ‘it’s closed.’ He thought that I was a customer, not the owner…So he showed me a gun…I was very lucky because he thought I was a customer not the owner.”
At 5:40 p.m., police said the suspect entered a check cashing business — Cash and More — in the 12000 block of Chapman Avenue, police said. No injuries were reported there either.
At around 6:05 p.m., a robbery was reported at an insurance business in the 12800 block of Chapman. A 54-year-old female employee was stabbed and taken to a hospital in critical condition.
He was armed with “some sort of machete knives” when he confronted the woman, Whitney said.
The victim was expected to make a full recovery.
About four minutes later, a 44-year-old man pumping gas at a Chevron station at Harbor Boulevard and Banner Driver, was stabbed — possibly with a machete, police said. Police said the man’s nose was almost severed. The victim also sustained several cuts to his face and was also stabbed in the back. He sustained traumatic injuries but is expected to survive.
“He stabbed a guy, he stabbed him right here and he shanked him right through his nose…It was a long knife, it was crazy,” a man who witnessed the gas station attack told CBS2.
Just after 6:15 p.m., the suspect robbed a Subway in the 3800 block of West 1st Street in Santa Ana. During the robbery, he stabbed a male employee several times, leaving him dead, police said.
The suspect was finally arrested outside a 7-Eleven store at 103 South Harbor Blvd., just across the street from the Subway store, but not before he killed a security guard inside the store, police said.
The suspect’s vehicle was spotted just before 6:30 p.m. outside the 7-Eleven. Responding undercover Garden Grove police detectives and Santa Ana police saw the suspect come out of the store carrying a handgun and a large knife. They ordered him to drop his weapons and then took him into custody, police said.
However, as they were arresting him, witnesses ran out and reported that a male security guard had been stabbed several times inside the store. According to witnesses, the suspect had disarmed the guard and taken his handgun. The security guard was rushed to a hospital, where he died.
The names of all the victims were not immediately released. The suspect, who is from Garden Grove, was also not identified.
“This guy was full of anger, and he harmed a lot of people tonight,” Whitney said.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti sent the people of Orange County condolences via Twitter Wednesday evening.
“We are all holding the ones we love closer tonight after learning of the shocking, violent attacks in Orange County,” Garcetti wrote. “Sending love to our neighbors in Santa Ana and Garden Grove.”
We are all holding the ones we love closer tonight after learning of the shocking, violent attacks in Orange County. Sending love to our neighbors in Santa Ana and Garden Grove.
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) August 8, 2019
The brutal and puzzling attack came just days after a pair of mass shootings in Texas and Ohio left 31 people dead and stunned the nation. The shooter in El Paso, Texas, apparently posted an anti-immigrant screed before killing 22 people at a Walmart on Saturday. Less than a day later, a man opened fire on a Dayton, Ohio, entertainment district, killing nine people before police shot him dead.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)