TAUNTON (CBS) – An off-duty officer shot and killed a man who allegedly stabbed two people to death during a rampage at two locations in Taunton Tuesday night.
Police responded to the Silver City Galleria shopping mall just before 7:00 p.m. after the suspect, identified as 28-year-old Arthur DaRosa, crashed a black Honda Accord into the entrance of a Macy’s store.
“We saw the car just like dove right in,” a woman said. “It honestly happened like the fastest thing.”
Moments later, police say DaRosa exited his car, assaulted multiple people inside Macy’s, and then walked into a Bertucci’s restaurant inside the mall. Inside the restaurant, DaRosa allegedly stabbed multiple people including a 56-year-old man who died. DaRosa was shot and killed by an off-duty Plymouth County sheriff’s deputy inside the mall.
One of the victims who was attacked at the mall was a pregnant woman, a witness told WBZ.
Prior to the attacks at the mall, police say DaRosa crashed a vehicle outside a home on Myricks Street, walked inside and stabbed two women. An 80-year-old woman who was stabbed was transported to the hospital and later died. The other woman is being treated for life-threatening injuries.
A damaged red Ford Ranger pickup truck was towed from that scene which is about three miles from the mall. Witnesses say they heard a crash and then saw a man with a knife leaving the home.
“The suspect’s motive remains under investigation but at this point we are aware of no nexus to terrorism,” State Police said.
Authorities say there is no threat to the public.
“Tragedy certainly hit the city of Taunton hard here this evening,” Mayor Thomas Hoye said. “Certainly our heartfelt prayers go out to all of the victims of this senseless tragedy. I’d like to thank the off-duty sheriff for if it wasn’t for his heroic actions there could have been more loss of life.”
Witnesses say there was mayhem at the mall during the rampage. Alex Mace and Jenn Breault had just arrived when they saw a young girl cowering in the bushes outside Bertucci’s.
“She wasn’t really crying you could just tell she was scared for her life, she was kind of hiding behind a bush with her head down,” Mace said.
The girl told the couple what she witnessed.
“She saw a guy walk in and he like grabbed a chair to hurt one of the waitresses and she saw him stab the waitress,” Breault said.
Families then began to flee the mall.
“They were all just kind of crying and in a panic,” Mace said. “They just looked like they were panicking, they were running to the car and I heard one of the little girls say, ‘unlock it, unlock the car, let’s go, let’s go!’”
The first arriving officers asked the couple what they knew and then rushed inside. Mace said he heard about five gunshots.
The identities of the stabbing victims have not been released.