Suspect in unprovoked stabbing shot to death by police in Silver Spring, police say

Published 7/22/2023 6:07 p.m. EDT, Updated 7/22/2023 6:21 p.m. EDT

Baltimore Police crime scene tape remains on the scene after a vehicle exploded inside a five-story parking garage in Baltimore’s Fells Point neighborhood on 7/27/22.  Two people are being treated for injuries, fire officials said Wednesday afternoon.

A police officer in Silver Spring shot and killed a man after reports he had, without provocation, stabbed four people at random Saturday, officials said.

The victims were three women — two were stabbed in the neck — and a man, all of whom are expected to survive, Montgomery County Police Assistant Chief Darren Francke told reporters during a Saturday afternoon news conference at the scene. Three were hospitalized.

The suspect’s identity has not been released.

Francke said the man used a 12-inch butcher knife in the stabbings, which started at a popular thrift store in Silver Spring, Maryland, and continued in the surrounding neighborhood. Although the investigation is ongoing, Francke said, detectives don’t believe the suspect knew any of the victims. He said the attacks appear “completely random.”

“We have witnesses. We are continuing our interviews, but at this point it was an unprovoked attack,” he said.

Police received reports around 10:35 a.m. of a stabbing at the thrift store. Almost simultaneously, another caller reported a second stabbing on a nearby street, according to police.

The suspect ran into a wooded area while police started setting up a perimeter. Francke said the man came out of the woods and “confronted a police cruiser.” He said another officer soon arrived, saw the man armed with a knife, gave commands and ultimately opened fire, killing the suspect.

“The officer fired multiple rounds, and the subject was stopped from attacking further people,” Francke said.

The suspect died at the scene.

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office is investigating the police shooting, which is standard procedure under state law. That office will turn over the results of its investigation to local prosecutors, who will decide whether the officer will face criminal charges.

Officials said the shooting was captured on body camera and the footage, along with the names of the officer and suspect, will likely be released in the coming weeks.

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Francke said the incident was out of character for the otherwise quiet suburban area.

“Montgomery County is a very safe community,” he said. “On a Saturday afternoon where folks are having a yard sale and just shopping at a very popular thrift store, we don’t expect this. We certainly don’t accept it.”