Officers from the Santa Rosa Police Department are currently investigating the events and motive that led to a 21-year-old man being viciously stabbed while watching the new horror movie killer shark thriller The Shallows on Wednesday. The man was stabbed multiple times with a butcher knife and is now reportedly in critical condition due to the life-threatening injuries.
The attack occurred on Wednesday afternoon shortly after the movie began at the Roxy Theater complex, located at 85 Santa Rosa Avenue, at approximately 4 p.m. The San Francisco Gate reported that it was about half an hour into the movie that the suspect came up behind the 21-year-old victim and simply began stabbing the man. The police have stated that the two men did not appear to have had any contact before the attack. Josh Ludtke, a spokesman for the Santa Rosa Police Department, stated that the man getting stabbed in the movie theater “appears totally random at this time.”
The showing for The Shallows is said to have had a sparse audience that Wednesday, and those who witnessed the incident reported that there was chaos and confusion in the theater after the man was stabbed, but several people rushed to his aid. The attacker, meanwhile, fled the theater as the movie played, running in the direction of the Prince Memorial Greenway, which is where he was later apprehended by the police.
The call to the Santa Rosa Police Department came in at about 4:07 p.m. The wounded man was rushed to the hospital, where he reportedly remains in critical condition. The victim, who has not been named, was stabbed in the throat, the arm, and the lung.
The butcher knife used to stab the man in the movie theater was recovered in a trash can outside the auditorium where the suspect had tossed it as he exited through the theater lobby.
Police have stated that the search for the suspect began immediately, and within minutes, a 23-year-old man had been apprehended at Prince Memorial Greenway, close to a set of stairs that lead to the path from South A Street. The suspect is said to have behaved quite nonchalant and calm when the police arrested him.
According to the Press Democrat the suspect who stabbed the man at the movie theater is also being investigated for a fatal stabbing earlier in the week. On that occasion, a 32-year-old homeless man, Cirak Tesfazgi, was stabbed 50 times in the doorway of a downtown Santa Rosa building where he sometimes slept. The weapon, a bent chef’s knife, was found on the ground beside the victim.
Ludtke and other investigators stated that the similarities of both men being viciously stabbed and seemingly unprovoked as well are the reasons for the suspicion.
“Based on the randomness of the act, the brutality of the act, certainly he’s a person we’re looking into as a suspect.”
The identity of the suspect is still in question. Despite the fact that he gave the authorities a name and age, he does not possess any form of identification and is not from Santa Rosa. He said he came from the East Coast about four months ago but gave no indication as to why. The suspect is described as a black man with a full beard and dreadlocks. The man was previously arrested while in Santa Rosa for suspicion of being drunk in public.
On Wednesday night, the Santa Rosa police shut down the upstairs of the two-story Roxy theater in order to collect evidence, but it was expected to be open again on Thursday.
The authorities are asking that anyone with information contact Sgt. Josh Ludtke of the Santa Rosa Police Department at 543-3590.
[Image via Shutterstock]