TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA/AP) — Five victims are in the hospital after a mass stabbing at a construction material company in the state’s capital city Wednesday morning. The suspect is in police custody.
One victim is in serious condition.
Police said suspect, Antwann Demetris Brown, got in a verbal confrontation with fellow employees at Dyke Industries Inc near the state capitol and was asked to leave.
Police said the suspect clocked out at 8:20 then allegedly began stabbing fellow employees with a pocket knife.
The Tallahassee Police Department said in an online news release that they were called to an industrial area in the city for a stabbing Wednesday morning. When they arrived, they found multiple people with stab wounds. The stabbing victims required immediate medical attention, according to police.
“He appeared that he actually had sought out certain victims,” said Tallahassee Police Department Interim Chief Steve Outlaw.
Police said employees took matters into their own hands and restrained the suspect, but he broke free when police arrived.
He was then apprehended about a block from the crime scene.
“It actually held him at bay at one point momentarily,” said Outlaw. “That delayed his escape which was very good for us.”
Police leadership was notified while attending a 9/11 memorial service.
“You can’t help but wonder, on the first blush when you hear that, is this related to the anniversary,” said Outlaw.
As of mid-day police said they were still interviewing the suspect, but police said they don’t believe the stabbings and the anniversary are linked.
However, the tragic incident, like the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is sure to be a date that lives in infamy for the victims.
“The time you walk into work that next morning, that’s a trigger point. And so you can’t help but have a flashback of what occurred the previous day and this will always be an anniversary day for some of the coworkers,” said Outlaw.
The suspect, Antwann Brown, has a criminal history dating back to 1996.
He now faces five counts of attempted first-degree murder and an aggravated assault charge.
Victims are being offered counseling.
The mass stabbing comes as the Florida Senate prepares to hold hearings on mass violence starting next week.