Stabbings at Target: Homeless Man Used Girl as Human ‘Shield’ in Pittsburgh

By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff
Created: March 26, 2013 Last Updated: March 26, 2013
Related articles: United States » Northeast
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Stabbings at Target: A homeless man stabbed and slashed several people at a Pittsburgh Target before he was held down and arrested.

Two young men walk past the front door at a Target store in 2011 in Fairfax, Virginia. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

Two young men walk past the front door at a Target store in 2011 in Fairfax, Virginia. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

A 41-year-old man who ran into a Pittsburgh Target store late on Monday and slashed two men and stabbed a 16-year-old girl was charged with attempted murder, reports said.

Leon Raymond Walls, who was described as homeless by several local media outlets, was arrested after several men confronted him and tried to hold him down.

A police complaint said Walls used the teenage girl, who was in critical condition, “as a shield,” reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“You come close, I’ll stab her,” he reportedly said. He then stabbed her in the back with a kitchen knife.

When officers arrived, they doused Walls with a pepper spray-like substance and hit him with a Tazer.

Walls was apparently being chased before he went into the Target. A fourth person is said to have been slashed before the man entered the target, police said. After the slashing, the man apparently tried to disappear in a crowd of people before he entered the store, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

According to WTAE television, several men followed Walls into the bathroom when he first entered the Target, but he then chased them out with a knife, police said.

“I took a peek at the top of the steps, and the guy was chasing the dude around with a long, long knife. It was a long, long knife. He was chasing him around through the aisles,” a witness told the station.

Another witness described the chaos that ensued.

“After he grabbed the (16-year-old) he was screaming, ‘They tried to rob me. They have my wallet.’ It looked like he was holding her hostage. He seen the men coming after him with a bat and he grabbed the woman. They were trying to get him,” witness Dominique Gomez told the Review.

He added: “One man was stabbed in the mouth. Another was stabbed in the finger. I think the man who was stabbed in the mouth was one of those (who) came up here looking for him.”

WTAE quoted another witness as saying that he used a baseball bat to get Walls on the ground.

“That little girl, he just kept stabbing her. I just couldn’t stand there and watch that,” he said. “It was crazy in there. That was horrible. That was something you don’t want to see again, ever.”

Silverdale Baptist Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn., posted a message on Facebook saying the 16-year-old girl was Allison Meadows, who had surgery for arm wounds and her back. The school said she suffered from a collapsed lung.

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