Seattle, WA – A Good Samaritan with a concealed-carry permit helped protect citizens from a bloody, knife-wielding murder suspect on Friday, holding him at bay until police could arrive to take him into custody (video below).
The incident began inside MOD Pizza at the Seattle Center Armory building on Friday night, when 29-year-old David Lee Morris began stabbing his estranged girlfriend in the throat in front of their young son and dozens of people, The Seattle Times reported.
Witnesses rushed to help her, and one person threw a chair just before Morris left the area.
The woman, later identified as 28-year-old Gabrielle Garcia, was rushed to Harborview Hospital, where she ultimately died of her injuries, KOMO reported.
Another second person was transported to the hospital in stable condition, but the extent or nature of that person’s injuries was not released.
After stabbing Garcia multiple times, Morris walked out of the building wielding the large blade, his hands and forearms covered in blood.
At the nearby Skillet Counter, off-duty employee Scott Brown heard the commotion as he was chatting with his manager, Mike Carter, The Seattle Times reported.
“I have a carrier’s permit and I’m carrying. Should I go over there?” Brown asked him, just before he bolted towards the scene without an answer.
Photographer Eric DeAngelo told KIRO that he immediately began recording the events as a man with a gun confronted Morris.
"I have a concealed weapons license,” Brown told KOMO. “He was just walking away calmly. I pulled out my firearm and he refused – he kept moving towards me.”
“He said, 'shoot me, shoot me. I killed the only girl I ever loved...I don't have anything left,’” Brown recounted.
The video showed Morris as he walked steadily towards Brown with his arms outstretched, clutching the blade in his right hand.
“[I] stepped in front of him, [and] as soon as he saw that I had a firearm he started trying to convince me to shoot him,” Brown told KOMO. “He just kept trying to convince me to shoot him, and I didn’t want to shoot him.”
Brown ordered Morris to get onto the ground, but he continued to march towards him as passersby looked on, the video showed.
Another man in a navy jacket then walked a wide circle around Morris’ left side, then turned back towards a man in a uniform and mentioned “pepper spray.”
The man in the navy jacket then walked swiftly along Morris’ left side and sprayed him with a canister he held in his right hand, the video showed.
Morris turned away briefly as the man moved within reach of the blade and continued to deploy the spray.
Seemingly unaffected, the suspect pivoted again, and began walking towards Brown.
Brown continued to hold him at gunpoint as Morris walked onto a grassy area, where he was confronted by multiple police vehicles.
He initially knelt on the ground with his hands raised, then jumped to his feet as the officers moved in.
“Get on the ground!” they hollered.
“He wants to die,” one officer cautioned, just before a Taser was deployed.
Morris collapsed onto the ground, and was taken into custody without further incident.
Police recovered the bloodied murder weapon at the scene.
Brown said he just happened to be in the right place at the right time, KOMO reported.
“Me personally, I never wanted to pull my gun out ever – not on an animal, not on a person,” he said. “I carry it for protection.”
“He was in no way looking to harm the man,” Carter told The Seattle Times. “He was just trying to keep the focus on him until the police arrived.”
He said Brown acted heroically during a situation that many people would be scared to approach.
“I think about Scott’s heroism,” he explained. “Do you want someone who just potentially tried to kill his girlfriend and wife — do you want that man’s attention on you? The situation was handled so smoothly in the worst of circumstances, and handled properly.”
According to court documents, Morris had been court-ordered to stay away from Garcia, KIRO reported.
The couple had finalized their custody agreement in October, according to The Seattle Times.
Morris later told investigators that he and Garcia had an “off and on relationship,” and claimed she had a history of “having other boyfriends and bringing more men” into their 4-year-old son’s life, KIRO reported.
He said he felt her other relationships were “inappropriate,” according to police.
“Morris acknowledges this may traumatize [their son] if he remembers it, but he hopes he represses the memories, Seattle Police Detective Alan Cruise wrote in the arrest affidavit, according to The Seattle Times.
“Morris believes that there is no way he will ever get custody of [their son],” and “believed that Gabrielle dying was best [for the child],” Det. Cruise wrote.
According to the detective, Morris explained that “he decided it was time to kill her” when she refused to talk about their relationship and got up to use the bathroom.
“Morris believed she was probably going to go…call her attorney,” the affidavit read.
The couple’s son has been placed with Child Protective Services, the Seattle Police Department said in a press release on Friday.
Morris is being held on investigation of first-degree murder, the Seattle Times reported.
You can watch the harrowing encounter in the video below: