Four people were killed and two others injured in a series of robberies and stabbings that started in Garden Grove and ended in Santa Ana on Wednesday evening, Aug. 7, authorities said.

It was one of the worst sprees of violence in recent Orange County history, though not the deadliest. In 2011, Scott Dekraai killed eight people in and outside of a Seal Beach salon. Nearly six years later, Dekraai, who had confessed to the murders, was sentenced to eight consecutive life sentences.

Police arrested one man at a 7-Eleven at Harbor Boulevard and 1st Street, one of nine crime scenes in the two-hour spree that straddled the two cities.

The four dead are all men, two other people were hospitalized in what authorities described as violent robberies. Police have not released any names.

“There is no threat tonight after this suspect was taken into custody,” Garden Grove Police Chief To DaRe said during a press briefing in front of an apartment complex on the 12000 block of Jentges Avenue.

There, officers had responded to a burglary reported at 4:09 p.m., GGPD Lt. Carl Whitney said. The two residents had come home to find their apartment ransacked.

As police were investigating, they were notified of a robbery at a bakery at 13040 Chapman Ave. A silver Mercedes was spotted at that business; investigators believe the car was driven by the man who had broken into the apartment earlier.

The police were then called back to the apartment complex after reports at 5:04 p.m. of two men who were stabbed, Whitney said. One man was pronounced dead on the balcony of the apartment. The second was found inside and taken to UCI Medical Center, but also died.

The complex has about 40 units, mainly one- to two-bedroom apartments housing families, residents said.

The man arrested by police lived in the same complex in a nearby unit, Whitney said.

Authorities were then notified of another robbery at a check-cashing business at 12845 Harbor Blvd. Police said the man then drove down Harbor Boulevard and robbed an insurance business. A woman, 53, who was working inside was seriously injured.

“This guy was armed with knives,” Whitney said. “She fought as best she could.”

Later Whitney described the woman, who received several wounds, as brave.

A third attack took place at the Chevron gas station near Harbor Boulevard and Banner Drive. A man pumping gas had his nose nearly severed from his face, Whitney said.

Louis Chavez, 24, was putting air in his tire when he said he saw a man in a black hoodie walk up to the man pumping gas and, without a word, started hitting him. Chavez said the man slashed the other man’s face and stabbed him at least once in the shoulder.

Chavez said the assailant then returned to his car and continued to pump gas before seeming to realize the other customers had taken note of him. Chavez said he then got in his car and sped away as several customers went to the aid of the injured man.

Both the employee wounded at the insurance business and the motorist injured at the gas station were taken to UCI Medical Center and are expected to survive, Whitney said.

Then, at about 6:15, police spotted the Mercedes a 7-Eleven near Harbor and 1st. A security guard was stabbed there and his gun stolen. He also died.

Santa Ana police officers made contact with man there, and arrested him without incident. He is 33 years old and has a criminal history, police said. He has been arrested before Whitney said late Wednesday night, but added he did not know the details of his history.

Another stabbing had taken place just prior at a Subway restaurant across the street. Both the security guard and the restaurant customer died.

“These are all random acts of violence, our suspect was not connected to any of our victims,” Whitney said.

Garden Grove and Santa Ana police were working to collect evidence and talk with witnesses, he said. “We’ll be out here for hours. Well be out here through the night gathering evidence.”

There were also several videos taken by witnesses he said.

Whitney said in his 33 years in the department he has not seen a spree such as this. “You see this once in a career.”


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