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Woman who allegedly stabbed 4 at Target was armed with butcher knife, kitchen knife [Updated]

May 3, 2010 |  3:14 pm

L.A. County sheriff's detectives are trying to determine why a woman armed with a butcher knife and a kitchen knife allegedly stabbed four people, one of whom is in critical condition.

The assailant was identified as Layla Rosetta Trawick, 35, from Antioch, Calif., authorities said. She was stopped by an off-duty deputy shopping at the store, Clay Grant Jr., who is assigned to the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles, Capt. Michael Parker said.

“We are exceptionally proud of Deputy Grant,” Parker said. “The reason why this tragic situation wasn’t worse was because of the quick thinking of an armed, off-duty sheriff’s deputy who was willing to risk his life to end this situation.”

The stabbing set off a stampede among customers, authorities said.

Deputies with the sheriff's West Hollywood station responded after numerous 911 calls reported a gunman at the Target at La Brea Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, Sgt. Josh Mankini said.

But it turned out a woman had stabbed four people in the store and was holding a bloody knife when the off-duty deputy confronted her and ordered her to give up the weapon, Mankini said.

Grant was shopping when he heard screaming nearby. He turned the corner and saw the woman carrying two bloody knives. He drew his weapon and ordered her to surrender.

The reason for the stabbing was unknown and the investigation was continuing, Parker said.

Deputies did not have an immediate condition on the victims, who were not identified.

The Sheriff's Department received numerous calls after one of the victims, who was still bleeding, ran out of the store and people saw the deputy in his civilian clothes with a gun.

"There was a panic in the store," Mankini said, noting witnesses outside the store initially believed there had been a shooting. "Everyone and their brother was calling 911."

[Updated at 3:23 p.m.: By 3 p.m., dozens of shoppers milled about the store unfazed. A group of detectives huddled at the entrance with a few employees. All declined to comment because of the ongoing investigation.

Some employees were on their cellphones, recounting the events, but declined to be interviewed.]

-- Andrew Blankstein in Los Angeles and Robert Faturechi in West Hollywood


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