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2019 California stabbing attacks

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The 2019 California stabbing attacks were a two-hour series of stabbings and robberies in Garden Grove and Santa Ana, in Orange County, California, on August 7, 2019.[1] Four people were killed and two were wounded. The incident ended with the arrest of Zachary Castañeda, a 33-year-old Hispanic man from Garden Grove who had a previous criminal record and was described as a gang member. None of the victims were previously acquainted with him.



The perpetrator attacked people at seven locations in a two hour killing spree.[2][3] The crimes began on August 7 when the suspect robbed an apartment. When the victims discovered the robbery, police were called at 4:09pm. At about the same time, the perpetrator attempted to rob a bakery in Garden Grove.[3][4]

At 5:04pm, police were advised two men had been stabbed to death at the apartment complex in Garden Grove where the suspect lived. The stabbing victims were the robbery victims who had called police at 4:09pm.[5][6][7] One died at the scene and the other was pronounced dead at a hospital.[4] The suspect then attempted to rob a check-cashing business, an insurance agency, and a Chevron gas station. A woman at the insurance agency was stabbed multiple times, and the nose of the victim at the gas station was almost completely severed. He also stabbed a person to death in the parking lot of a Subway sandwich shop in Santa Ana.[4]

The 33-year-old suspect, Zachary Castañeda, from Garden Grove, was taken into custody as he emerged from a 7-Eleven convenience shop in Santa Ana, southeast of Los Angeles.[8][9] He dropped a knife along with a handgun that he had taken from a guard as he emerged from the 7-Eleven.[8][6][10]. At the time of his arrest, the suspect was out of jail on bail for drug and concealed knife charges.[11]

Lt. Carl Whitney Whitney of the Garden Grove Police Department said "Our suspect was not associated with any of our victims." He also said that the suspect and all of the victims were Hispanic.[4][8][9] However, police later stated that two of the victims were white.[12] Police also stated that the suspect is a known gang member and had previously been convicted of "possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute while armed with an assault weapon" and vehicular theft.[6][13][14] On August 9, the suspect was charged with murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon to cause great bodily injury, aggravated mayhem, robbery and burglary, and pleaded not guilty.[15] The suspect was not elegible for bail.[16]

Legal analysisEdit

Garden Grove police Chief Tom DaRe blamed the fact that Castañeda had been granted an early release from prison on Assembly Bill 109.[17] USC Professor Charis Kubrin said that police arguments regarding the suspect and the Public Safety Realignment initiative were meritless.[18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Four dead in California stabbing rampage". BBC News. August 8, 2019. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  2. ^ Rand, Jory; Cota-Robles, Mark (August 8, 2019). "Suspect in custody after 4 killed, 2 injured in rampage of stabbings, robberies across Orange County". KABC-TV. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Mansoor, Sanya (August 8, 2019). "Stabbing Spree in Southern California Leaves 4 Dead and 2 Hurt. Here's What We Know So Far". Time. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Coote, Darryl (August 8, 2019). "4 killed, 2 wounded in Orange County stabbing spree". United Press International. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  5. ^ ROXANA KOPETMAN (August 12, 2019). "Garden Grove man, stabbed to death, had told family he was 'afraid' of neighbor". Orange County Register. Retrieved August 13, 2019. The call to police came at 4:09 pm [...] By 5:04 pm, police got a call of two men stabbed
  6. ^ a b c Karimi, Faith; Andone, Dakin (August 8, 2019). "Man held after four killed in a stabbing rampage in California. Suspect was arrested at a 7-Eleven". CNN. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  7. ^ Kaplan, Talia (August 8, 2019). "California gang member in custody after stabbing, robbery spree that killed 4, wounded 2: police". Fox News. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Jablon, Robert (August 8, 2019). "4 dead, 2 wounded in Southern California stabbings". Associated Press. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Stanglin, Doug (August 8, 2019). "'Pure evil': Suspect in California stabbing attacks that left 4 dead was 'full of anger', police say". USA Today. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  10. ^ Cosgrove, Jaqueline (August 7, 2019). "4 killed and 2 injured in Orange County stabbing attacks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  11. ^ "Tomi Lahren slams California's 'felon-friendly' laws after ex-con's alleged deadly stabbing spree". Fox News. August 12, 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019. Orange County court records also show he was free on a $20,000 bond for carrying a concealed knife, along with drug charges, at the time of the stabbing spree.
  12. ^ "Man Accused in Deadly Orange County Stabbing Spree Pleads Not Guilty", KNBC. August 9, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  13. ^ Cota-Robles, Marc; McMillan, Rob (August 9, 2019). "Orange County stabbing spree: Video shows suspect wield knife in each hand in vicious attack". KABC-TV. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  14. ^ Schladebeck, Jessica. "Suspect arrested in deadly California stabbing and robbery spree was documented gang member, convicted felon", New York Daily News. August 9, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  15. ^ Taxin, Amy. "Suspect in deadly SoCal stabbing spree pleads not guilty", Associated Press. The Mercury News. August 9, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  16. ^ Fausto, Alma (August 10, 2019). "California mass stabbing suspect is charged with 4 counts of murder, other crimes". The Mercury News. Southern California News Group. Retrieved August 10, 2019. He was not eligible for bail.
  17. ^ Cole, Brendan (August 9, 2019). "Who is Zachary Castaneda? Stabbing Spree Suspect was Known Gang Member Jailed 14 Times Since 2016". Newsweek. Retrieved August 9, 2019. Garden Grove police Chief Tom DaRe said Castaneda was a "violent individual" who should have kept him in prison, where he's been 14 times since June 2016. He blamed Assembly Bill 109, legislation which was brought into law in 2011 by California lawmakers to try to reduce the prison population.
  18. ^ Miriam Hernandez (August 10, 2019). "Criminal record of 'violent' O.C. stabbing suspect under scrutiny after he was released from prison". ABC 7 News. Retrieved August 12, 2019. But a scholar of AB 109's impact disputes DaRae's claims. "AB 109 did not give Zachary Castaneda early release...this would have happened without AB 109 in place," said UC Irvine criminology professor Charis Kubrin.