Silver Spring, MD. (AP) – A Washington, D.C., police officer shot and killed four people without provocation on Saturday.
The victims included three women — two of whom were stabbed in the neck — and one man, all of whom are expected to survive, Montgomery County Police Assistant Chief Darren Franke told reporters at the scene Saturday afternoon. Three were injured and hospitalized.
The identity of the suspect has not yet been released.
Franke said the man used a 12-inch butcher knife in the attack, which began at a popular thrift store in Silver Spring, Maryland, and then continued through the neighborhood. While the investigation is ongoing, Franke said investigators do not believe the suspect knew any of the victims. He said the attacks appeared to be “completely random”.
“We have witnesses. We are continuing our interviews, but this time it was an unprovoked attack,” he said.
Police received a report of a stabbing at a convenience store around 10:35 a.m. Almost immediately, another caller received a second stabbing on a nearby street, police said.
When the police began to set up a perimeter, the suspect entered the forest. Franke said the man came out of the woods and was “confronted with a police crew.” He said another officer arrived on the scene a short time later, saw the man armed with a knife, and ordered him to eventually open fire, killing the suspect.
“The officer fired several rounds and the subject was prevented from attacking any more people,” Franke 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 forward the results of the investigation to local prosecutors, who will decide whether the official will face criminal charges.
Officials said the shooting was captured on a body camera, and the footage will be released in the coming weeks, along with the names of the officer and the suspect.
Franke said the incident was out of character for the quiet suburban area.
“Montgomery County is a very safe community,” he said. “On a Saturday afternoon where people have a yard sale and shop at a very popular thrift store, we don’t expect this. We certainly do not accept it.”