A Florida man “spontaneously” stabbed five co-workers with a folding knife after getting into a dispute Wednesday morning at a Tallahassee industrial park, police said.
Antwann D. Brown, 41, allegedly stabbed his coworkers at Dyke Industries, a wholesale building material supplier, around 8:37 a.m. Upon entering the building, officers “discovered multiple stabbing victims and provided immediate medical attention” before apprehending Brown a block away from the building, police said.
All five victims were taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, a spokesperson told The Daily Beast.
“One patient is in serious condition; two patients are in fair condition; and two patients are in good condition,” the spokesperson said.
Tallahassee Interim Police Chief Steve Outlaw said Wednesday the motive behind the attack was not immediately clear, but confirmed Brown had worked at Dyke Industries for about three months.
While he had no known employment issues, Outlaw said, Brown got into an argument with another employee shortly after he clocked into work at around 8 a.m. on Wednesday. About 20 minutes after the dispute, the 41-year-old was asked to “clock out.” Police said he returned less than 15 minutes later with a small folding knife, allegedly seeking out “certain victims.”
Marquitta Campbell told The Tallahassee Democrat her husband had arrived for a job interview at Dyke Industries Inc. and was on the phone with him when she heard a commotion.
“The next thing I know, he said, ‘Baby, I’ve been stabbed five times,’” Campbell told the newspaper. “‘I’ve been stabbed.’”
Outlaw said on Wednesday that some employees performed “heroic acts” during the attack, including fighting the suspect off with several objects in the office before he ran away from the scene. Officers picked him up about a block away from Dyke Industries.
“You can’t help but wonder, on the first flush when you hear that, is this related to the anniversary? You just can’t help but wonder that,” Outlaw said at the press conference, adding that the incident did not have any known relationship to 9/11. “Very, very sad occasion...But fortunately, from what we can tell, there was no relationship to the anniversary.”
Police confirmed Wednesday that Brown has a prior record connected to a violent incident in Georgia. According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Brown was charged with drug dealing and grand theft in 1996 and was released from prison 10 years ago.