Two dead in samurai attack at grocery store in Southern California
June 30, 2003
IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — A man wielding a samurai-style sword killed two people and injured three others at an Albertsons supermarket Sunday morning before police fatally shot him, authorities said.
Shoppers fled the store as police went in to find the man shortly after 9:30 a.m., Irvine Police Lt. Jeff Love said. The suspect confronted an officer before police shot him, Love said.
The two people killed were dead when police arrived. The three injured people and the suspect were transported to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, Love said.
One of the injured men suffered “moderate trauma injuries,” while another man and woman had minor lacerations, said Capt. Stephen Miller of the Orange County Fire Authority. The suspect died at the hospital.
Stunned workers gathered at the store’s parking lot.
“We’re in Irvine, California,” said Denese Ecker, who works at another Albertsons. “You just don’t think things like this will happen. It makes you think about what’s important.”
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Ecker said she went to the store after learning a former co-worker had been killed.
“This man got up this morning, went to work, kissed his wife goodbye, and from what I hear, he’s gone. I’m just devastated,” she said.
Love said it was “very bloody inside” and called the attacks an aberration in the city about 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles. He said the city of 143,000 averages less than one murder a year.
“It’s a very crime-free community. So this is quite a serious event for us,” Love said.