Published Friday, Aug. 24, 2018 | 1:40 p.m.
Updated Friday, Aug. 24, 2018 | 7:04 p.m.
A knife-wielding man randomly attacked two women in the west valley Friday afternoon — stabbing them in public — before an officer shot and critically wounded him, according to Metro Police.
Multiple verbal commands and low-lethal force proved ineffective, and the officer opened fire as the suspect approached innocent civilians, Capt. Jamie Prosser said.
Both victims were being discharged from University Medical Center Friday night, Prosser said.
The chaotic scene first unfolded inside a Regional Transportation Commission bus, which was traveling on Spring Mountain Road, just west of Rainbow Boulevard.
A victim and the suspect were inside the bus when at some point, the man came up to the woman and stabbed her in the neck, Prosser said.
The woman was able to break free and get off the bus, but so did the suspect, Prosser said. “We do not understand if there’s any connection (between them), any fight. We don’t have any reason to believe that there was one.”
Randomly, the man grabbed a second woman in the street, put her in a chokehold and began to stab her, Prosser said. By this time, officers had arrived and the woman was able to escape.
Still armed with a knife, the suspect took off running, Prosser said.
Officers followed him, ordering him to surrender. When that failed, a stun gun was deployed, but that, along with at least one low-lethal shotgun round, also didn’t stop him.
The officer fired his handgun as the man continued toward a bus stop occupied by civilians waiting for a bus on Rainbow, just south of the Spring Mountain intersection, Prosser said.
The critically wounded suspect was transported to UMC, Prosser said. He remained unidentified early Friday evening, and a possible motive for his violent spree had not been figured out.
Friday’s incident was a continuation of a particularly violent August spree in which Metro officers have opened fire on seven separate occasions.
Vowing transparency, Metro leadership has broadcast footage from body-worn cameras in five occasions that has showed suspects shooting or charging at them with knives.
A week ago, an officer fired at a fleeing burglary suspect who’d fled house arrest and had shot at him during a foot pursuit, police said. No one was injured and the gunfire was not caught on video since the officer was a detective in plain clothes.
A detailed briefing of the latest shooting is expected Monday.