EAST LIBERTY, Pa. - Police have identified the man accused of stabbing three people at a Target store in East Liberty, including a 16-year-old girl who remains hospitalized.
Leon Raymond Walls, 41, is being held in Allegheny County Jail, unable to post $250,000 bond.
Investigators said Walls ran into the Penn Avenue store about 5:30 p.m. Monday after a fight nearby. They said he slashed two men and stabbed and seriously injured the girl, Allison Meadows.
Michael Turner told Channel 11’s Vince Sims that he saw the bizarre scene unfold from beginning to end.
“The guy came out of nowhere, came around me and stabbed one of my friends in the shoulder,” Turner said.
Turner said he saw his friend get stabbed outside the store, and he and two other men chased Walls into the store. Turner said Walls was hiding in the bathroom, but came out swinging a 6-inch steak knife.
“He was just wailing it, like trying to swing and cut people. He was out to cut anyone,” Turner said.
Turner said Walls then grabbed Meadows, who was standing with her family, and used her as a human shield before stabbing her.
“He had her coat wrapped around his arm. He was over the top of her like this yelling. The next thing I knew, he just reached over and stabbed her right here,” Turner said.
It was at that moment that Turner said someone else jumped on Walls from behind. Several people helped restrain him until officers arrived.
Two other men were cut on the face and hand, and Turner suffered some scratches and bruises. He said none of the men who helped were thinking about themselves.
“To hear (Meadows) screaming for her mother. That is something that will stick with me until I die,” Turner said. “I’m just glad she’s going to be OK. That’s really all I’m worried about. She’s just a kid.”
Meadows is a student at Silverdale Baptist Academy in Chatanooga, Tenn. She was visiting family in Pittsburgh on Monday.
Meadows sent out a tweet Tuesday saying, “Hey y’all this is actually Allison. Thank you so much for your prayers. I will get back to you all as soon as I can.”
Meadows is recovering from surgery to repair a collapsed lung.
Target employee Marquis Thorn told Sims she was inside the store during all of the commotion.
“We were in the back of the store and people started coming from the front screaming. A lady screamed, ‘There’s a man up there trying to stab people, so stay in the back.’” Thorn said. “I went back into the employee room and let everybody out the emergency exit.”
Thorn said she was able to safely escape the store as well.
“I saw the people screaming and running, and that was enough for me to get out,” Thorn said. “It’s horrible.”
Investigators said multiple charges are pending against Walls.