Stabbing suspect threatened to light himself on fire before arrest

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- A man accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend in the parking lot of a Carlsbad Costco last week doused himself in gasoline and threatened to light himself on fire before he was arrested, police say.

The stabbing occurred in the parking lot of the Costco on Palomar Airport Road on the afternoon of Friday, March 23.

Medics took the female victim to a hospital for treatment of multiple stab wounds, Sgt. Gary Marshall said, and later that afternoon, investigators tracked down the suspect.

According to police, 62-year-old Charles Higgins doused himself in gas when he was pulled over and threatened to ignite himself before officers knocked away his lighter and took him into custody.

Higgins has previously been convicted of assaulting the woman he's accused of stabbing.

The 73-year-old victim was loading groceries into her car when she was attacked, according to Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Barlow.

Prosecutors said that if it hadn't been for passersby who intervened during the attack, the woman would have died from the stab wounds to her neck. She is still in intensive care receiving treatment for her wounds.

"He poses a threat to the community and a threat to himself," Barlow said of Higgins on Wednesday.

Higgins faces murder charges and could receive life in prison if convicted.