The incident began last Thursday shortly after 5 p.m. A man walked into a Smith's store in Salt Lake City and purchased a kitchen knife, attracting no attention. He then went just outside the store and began yelling and randomly stabbing people.
Dorothy Espinoza, an employee of the store, was quoted by ABC News
He pulled it out and stood outside Smith's in the foyer. And he just started stabbing people and yelling you killed my people. You killed my people.
While it is not known what is meant by "you killed my people," records from the Salt Lake City Jail describe the man as a Vietnamese citizen.
A 45-year-old man was stabbed several times in the abdomen while a 30-year-old man received stab wounds to his head and arms. Both victims were taken to hospital in critical condition.
The knife-wielding man then chased other people into the parking lot. In the lot was an unidentified 47-year-old man who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon. He pulled out a pistol, pointed it at the attacker, and ordered him to drop the knife. The man with the knife complied and got down on the ground.
Employees and customers of the store then restrained the attacker while the citizen with the permit continued to point the gun at him until police arrived.
Kiet Thanh Ly, 34, is facing attempted murder and aggravated assault charges.
The unidentified man with the gun was praised by both police and gun advocates. Salt Lake City Police Lt. Brian Purvis was quoted by ABC News
This was a volatile situation that could have gotten worse. We can only assume from what we saw it could have gotten worse. He [the man with the concealed weapon] was definitely in the right place at the right time.
And W. Clark Aposhian, a gun advocate with the Utah Shooting Sports Council, told the local Fox News
I think the permit holder showed great restraint in not firing the firearm. This is an imminent, an immediate, on-going attack and if he believed that deadly force was necessary, he is perfectly justified in doing that.
Ly has a long criminal history dating back to 2000. As reported by ABC News
, Ly has previous convictions for assault, sexual battery and lewdness, and drug offences. He remains in the Salt Lake City Jail.
Unlike the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, this incident received virtually no media coverage outside of the Salt Lake City area.