4 killed in series of stabbings in Orange County

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. -- Six people were stabbed, four of them fatally, at multiple locations in Garden Grove and Santa Ana Wednesday, and the 33-year-old man suspected of committing the attacks was taken into custody.

The first stabbings were reported just after 5 p.m. at an apartment complex in the 12100 block of Jentges Avenue in Garden Grove, according to Garden Grove Police Department Lt. Carl Whitney.

Two male victims were found, one on the balcony of an apartment and the other inside. The victim inside was pronounced dead at the scene and the one on the balcony was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he too was pronounced dead, Whitney said.

Police had gotten a report about 4:10 p.m. of a burglary at the apartment, and the stabbings were reported nearly an hour later, as police investigated an armed robbery at a bakery in the 13000 block of Chapman Avenue, the lieutenant said.

No one was injured in the bakery robbery, which was reported about 4:25 p.m. and involved a male suspect possibly armed with a knife and a handgun, Whitney said.

About 5:40 p.m., an armed robbery was reported at a check-cashing business in the 12800 block of Harbor Boulevard, allegedly by the same suspect, who was reported to have been armed with a knife, according to Whitney. No one was injured in that crime, he said.

About 25 minutes later, a female victim was stabbed multiple times during a robbery at an insurance business in the area of Harbor and Garden Grove boulevards. She was conscious and breathing when taken to a hospital, Whitney said, but an update on her condition was not immediately available.

At 6:09 p.m., a male victim who was pumping gas at a Chevron station at Harbor Boulevard and Banner Drive had his nose nearly severed and was also stabbed in the back. He is expected to survive, according to Whitney, who said witness descriptions and cell phone photos matched the suspect and his gray Mercedes-Benz.

About 6:15 p.m., the suspect allegedly fatally stabbed an employee at a Subway sandwich shop in the 3800 block of First Street in Santa Ana before going to a 7-Eleven across the street, where he allegedly stabbed a security guard, fatally wounding him, and cutting his gun and holster from his belt and taking the firearm, Whitney said.

Plainclothes Garden Grove officers spotted the Mercedes outside the 7- Eleven and called for back-up from Santa Ana police before the suspect, who was armed with a knife and a handgun, emerged from the store about a minute later and was taken into custody by the plainclothes officers, Whitney said. The weapons were recovered, he added.

The suspect's name was withheld. Police said he is a Garden Grove resident.

Police said the suspect and the four slain victims are all Hispanic males and that there was no apparent connection between the suspect and the victims.

"These were random acts of violence -- our suspect was not involved with any of the victims," Whitney said.

With the suspect in custody, there was no longer a threat to the public, Garden Grove Police Chief Tom DaRe said.

The stabbings were unrelated to the stabbing death of a 62-year-old woman Tuesday night in a Garden Grove condominium she shared with her 28-year- old son, who is now being sought by police as a person of interest, officials said.

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