Two stabbed in restau­rant in Texas

Antelope Valley Press - - Front Page - By PAUL J. WE­BER

AUSTIN, Texas — A man stabbed two peo­ple, one fa­tally, in­side a restau­rant dur­ing a vi­o­lent string of at­tacks Fri­day at a shop­ping plaza in Texas’ cap­i­tal city that be­gan with an as­sault at a cof­fee shop and ended with the sus­pect leap­ing off a roof, po­lice said.

The at­tacks on a busy downtown av­enue of restau­rants and apart­ments just South of the Texas Capi­tol ter­ri­fied cus­tomers stop­ping for their morn­ing cof­fee on the way to work. It was the city of Austin’s first homi­cide of 2020.

Austin po­lice Sgt. David Daniels said in­ves­ti­ga­tors don’t know what pro­voked the sus­pect from strik­ing a per­son in­side a cof­fee shop be­fore flee­ing and stab­bing two peo­ple in­side Free­birds World Bur­rito a few doors down. The man, who was not iden­ti­fied, jumped off the roof of the restau­rant but sur­vived.

Stacy Romine, 33, said she was get­ting her drink at Bennu Cof­fee when she saw the sus­pect sud­denly at­tack a man who was sit­ting with a ta­ble full of reg­u­lars.

“This guy out of nowhere just hit him in the back of the head with some­thing,” Romine said. “Peo­ple tried to re­strain him and stop him from leav­ing the store after it hap­pened. But he could not be ap­pre­hended by three men, in­clud­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer.”

Daniels said he did not know whether the stab­bing vic­tims at Free­birds were em­ploy­ees. None of the vic­tims were iden­ti­fied, but Austin-Travis County EMS said one man in his 20s was pro­nounced dead at the scene. Daniels said a knife was in­volved in the at­tack but did not say whether it came from the restau­rant.

After he ran out of the cof­fee shop, Romine said she saw the at­tacker jump from the roof of Free­birds and did not move after hit­ting the ground. Daniels said the sus­pect was trans­ported to a hos­pi­tal but did not know his con­di­tion.

Daniels praised cus­tomers who tried to stop the man at the cof­fee shop be­fore he fled to Free­birds.

“We don’t rec­om­mend in­di­vid­u­als get­ting in­volved in a sit­u­a­tion, but they chose to do that, and it was help­ful,” Daniels said.

In 2017, one stu­dent was killed and three others wounded in a ran­dom stab­bing at­tack at the Univer­sity of Texas cam­pus in Austin. In that case, the as­sailant was later found not guilty by rea­son of in­san­ity.

As­so­ci­ated Press

Paramedics trans­port a stab­bing vic­tim in Austin, Texas, on Fri­day.

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