A violent attack in Long Beach ended with police shooting a man who stabbed two people with a screwdriver and left three others, including a baby, hurt Tuesday afternoon.
It happened in the city’s Belmont Shore neighborhood, off a busy business district and residential neighborhood. One man who was stabbed was taken to a nearby hospital, while the four others, including a baby who fell when the attacker punched and then stabbed a man holding the 2-year-old, were treated at the scene, according to police.
The attacker, whom police identified Wednesday as Mario Najara, a man experiencing homelessness, was taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening wound to the upper body. He is charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and robbery.
The series of attacked started when the 31-year-old assaulted a man and woman near Park Avenue and Livingston Drive, the Long Beach Police Department said. Both victims were treated at the scene for cuts.
The man then assaulted a man holding a baby at Livingston Park. Both were hurt when they fell to the ground, with the suspect proceeding to stab the man multiple times in the lower body, the LBPD said. Both victims were also treated at the scene by firefighters.
Ray Vannatta said he confronted the attacker. He said he saw a father injured trying to protect a young child.
“I ran in and shouted at the guy, get out of the park as fast as it started”, said Vannatta.
Witnesses say the attacker was belligerent and shouting profanities while walking up 2nd Street. While walking up the street, he stabbed another man in the upper body, the LBPD said. That man was taken to the hospital with a non-life-threatening injury.
Police said the suspect was confronted by officers and shot near Quincey Street, about a block away from a neighborhood park that was filled with kids and where witnesses say it all started.
Police confronted the man near a home, and it was there where they shot him.
Nearby residents said they’ve been dealing with people who appear to be suffering from some sort of mental instability: yelling at residents while walking down the streets and sometimes confronting passersby, even assaulting some residents.