HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – Two people were hospitalized with stab wounds following an incident that police said involved two co-workers inside the Martin's at The Village Shopping Center. The store is back open, but employees won't soon forget what happened.
The workday had just started when it spiraled down a violent path nobody saw coming. Minutes after 6:00 a.m., authorities say a female employee reported for work. Police say she was confronted inside by her co-worker, Derek C. James, 29, of Manakin Sabot, and what started as a heated argument soon became much worse.
Police say the woman was stabbed with a knife multiple times, until another co-worker interceded...chasing James to the back of the store, where he stabbed himself.
A witness who was not authorized to speak publicly told us the altercation went on for several intense minutes, starting near the café area of the store. Other employees, and at least one customer were inside at the time.
Gamal Goodman was nearby for a morning coffee.
"I wonder what happened for this guy to get so upset, that he has to, you know, stab someone?" Goodman said.
Police won't disclose that answer, and they won't comment on what -if any- prior relationship existed between the woman and her alleged attacker.
"The unfortunate thing is whatever events occurred prior to this happening, obviously spilled over into the workplace," said Henrico Police Lt. Eric Owens.
The store was shut down for nearly six hours. Bewildered employees and frequent customers saw the investigation unfold.
"It's very disconcerting, but hopefully it's all been solved and it was stopped, too," said customer Betsy DiNardo.
The scene was clear by midday, and the store was back open. Many shoppers were unaware of what happened just hours earlier.
Police would not release the name of the 27-year-old female victim. A Martin's executive said the woman and Derek James were listed in stable condition at VCU Medical Center.
Police said James will be charged with malicious wounding once he is released from the hospital.