MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Two victims of a knife-wielding grocery store employee remained hospitalized Saturday after the man attacked eight co-workers and was finally stopped by a witness who pulled a gun, authorities said.
Elartrice Ingram, 21, was charged with nine counts of attempted first-degree murder, police said. The attack Friday apparently stemmed from a work dispute, investigators said.
Ingram was taken to a hospital complaining of chest pains Friday before being released to police. He was in jail Saturday and was expected to appear in court Tuesday, according to a Shelby County Sheriff's Office database. It was not immediately known whether he had an attorney.
Two women remained hospitalized Saturday, one in serious condition, and the other in fair condition. The other victims were treated and released, according to a nursing supervisor at the Regional Medical Center.
Seven were stabbed, while another suffered heat-related symptoms while being chased, police said. Another person was threatened, resulting in the nine charges against Ingram, The Commercial Appeal reported.
Ingram, chasing one victim into the store's parking lot, was subdued by Chris Cope, manager of a financial services office in the same small shopping center, Memphis Police Sgt. Vince Higgins said.
Cope said he grabbed a 9mm semiautomatic pistol from his pickup truck when he saw the attacker chasing the victim "like something in a serial killer movie."
"When he turned around and saw my pistol, he threw the knife away, put his hands up and got on the ground," Cope told The Associated Press. "He saw my gun and that was pretty much it."
Police arrived within minutes and took the Ingram into custody.
"He just kept saying, 'I'm insane. I wish I was never born' and that kind of stuff," Cope said.
The attack started in an employee area of the Schnucks supermarket on the outskirts of Memphis. All the victims were employees of the store and no customers were involved, Higgins said.
Police said two large kitchen knives used in the attack were found at the scene.
Witness Frank Rector said the attacker held a knife high in a stabbing position as he chased a victim into the parking lot. The victim, Rector said, "was circling, trying to get away from him."
Higgins said police were pulling into the parking lot as Cope was confronting Ingram.
"We commend him," Higgins said. "But we don't encourage people to take that kind of risk. He could have been hurt."