A 28-year-old man was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer after stabbing four people at a mall in Taunton, Massachusetts on Tuesday, police say.
The suspect, identified as Arthur Darosa by Fox 25 Boston, also stabbed two people at a home in Taunton. Two of the six stabbing victims died of their wounds, the Massachusetts State Police said in a press release.
Darosa, known as AJ, was a Taunton resident.
One of the victims has been identified by WDHD-TV as Patricia Slavin, 80. The other has been named as George Heath, a 56-year-old teacher.
There is no further threat to the public, according to police. The incident started at about 7 p.m. on Myrick Street in Taunton. The second set of stabbings occurred at the Silver City Galleria Mall.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Darosa Went to the Hospital Monday for ‘Suicidal Thoughts’
Darosa was hospitalized for a mental health evaluation one day before the stabbing spree, WBZ-TV reports.
Darosa’s cousin told NBC News that Darosa had been feeling suicidal.
“They stated that he was fine, but obviously wasn’t,” the unnamed cousin said. “I believe that if he were better evaluated, the situation may not have happened…”
Police have not yet determined a motive for the stabbings.
But Massachusetts State Police told Fox 25 News that there does not appear to be any connection to terrorism.
“The suspect’s motive remains under investigation but at this point we are aware of no nexus to terrorism,” state police said.
2. He Crashed His Car Into the Front Door of a Macy’s Store Before the Stabbings
Witnesses described a chaotic scene at the Galleria Mall in Taunton. Arthur “AJ” Darosa, the suspect, drove his car into the front doors of a Macy’s store, before entering a nearby Bertucci’s restaurant and stabbing two people, Massachusetts State Police said.
He used a knife obtained after he entered the restaurant, authorities say.
“All of a sudden he walked into Bertucci’s and I saw him just start stabbing people,” witness Emaly Higgings told WCVB-TV. “And there was someone with a chair trying to throw it at (the suspect). There was an off-duty police officer there, and he actually shot him and kept him down.”
Rosa Bostick, another witness, told the news station, “People were throwing chairs at him and stuff. I went into the beauty salon and I told them ‘There’s a killer, there’s a killer’ and we all went to the back room.”
Bristol District Attorney Thomas Quinn said at a press conference that the off-duty officer, a Plymouth County deputy sheriff, likely saved lives.
“It appears that but for the actions of the deputy sheriff, there may very well have been other victims,” Quinn told reporters.
Darosa was shot once by the deputy sheriff, who has not been identified.
The mall was locked down after the incident until police cleared the scene.
3. He Was Also Involved in a Car Crash on Myrick Street, Where 1 of the Victims Was Fatally Stabbed
Before the stabbings at the mall, Darosa crashed a vehicle on Myrick Street in Taunton, and stabbed two people, 80-year-old Patricia Slavin and her daughter, police said.
Witnesses there told WCVB-TV that DeRosa was running around the neighborhood, trying to break into homes.
He was able to break into one of the homes, where he stabbed Slavin and her daughter, the Bristol County prosecutor says. He used a knife he found in the home, the prosecutor said.
Patricia Slavin later died of her injuries, and her daughter, who has not been named, remains hospitalized, authorities said.
“He was definitely not in the right state of mind,” neighbor Doug Kinsman said.
4. He Was Not Related to Any of the Victims & the Attacks Are Believed to Have Been Random
Darosa is not related to any of the victims and the attacks appear to be random, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn said at a press conference.
Quinn said a total of six people were stabbed, two fatally, and others at the mall were assaulted, but not stabbed.
Darosa graduated from Taunton High School, according to his Facebook page.
He worked as a deleader at J & McLaughlin, a Taunton company. He was in a relationship and had young daughters, according to his Facebook page.
Darosa was a video gamer, and tweeted about the online games he competed in using the handle @GenX_Mortiis.
5. Darosa Was Arrested in 2009 for Assaulting Someone With a Computer Chair
Darosa was arrested in November 2009 after police in Taunton said he assaulted someone with a computer chair, according to the Taunton Daily Gazette.
The blotter entry lists Darosa, then 21, as a resident of Myrtle Street. He was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, malicious damage to a motor vehicle, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
The outcome of that case was not immediately available. It is not known if Darosa had any additional criminal record.