BEAVERTON, OR- It was a violent crime spree that barely made the news… because it involved a mass stabbing, not a mass shooting. And it’s once again a prime example of the fact that the problem isn’t the tool used to do harm… it’s the person.
Earlier this week, Beaverton, Oregon was shaken up after a man went on a crime spree involving a bank robbery, carjackings, and multiple stabbings, taking the life of one woman in the process. The events took place at the Wells Fargo, situated at 14725 SW Teal Boulevard in the Murrayhill Shopping Center.
Police responded to a bank robbery report and said two people were stabbed at the bank by the suspect; one was pronounced dead and the other suffered critical injuries.
A Wells Fargo’s spokesman confirmed that the person who died was a customer. Dillon Prickett, a shopper, said he was going to get a cup of coffee at the Insomnia Coffee Company just after the stabbing took place:
“I came outside and there was an employee of the bank, she was bawling her eyes out, she couldn’t even talk.”
After seeing the aftermath of the stabbing, Prickett stated that it’s likely something he’ll never forget:
“They wheeled somebody that looked like they had, like a stab wound to the neck, she was just really bandaged, there was a lot of blood. When it really clicked that it was bad, when they wheeled her out a lot more paramedics were going in.”
The perpetrator also stabbed a man and, according to investigators, stole his car in the local Planet Fitness parking lot and headed to Tigard.
Police said the attacker then got out of the car, robbed a woman of yet another car and stabbed her. Eventually, the perpetrator made his way to a Shell gas station.
The local news outlet, FOX 12, an individual who came face to face with the suspect after the stabbings happened.
The individual, who was only identified as Taylor, said that the suspect let himself inside of his truck and asked to be driven to the highway:
“He reaches over the window, grabs the lock and he opens the door. He started to get a little bit agitated, a little bit nervous and that’s when I knew something was up and he pulled his hand up and it was bloody and then I was like, OK, so I should probably get out of the truck.”
Taylor had pulled into a Chevron gas station when he exited the vehicle after seeing the suspects blood covered hand. When authorities had filled him in on the alleged crimes by the suspect, he felt a wave anxiety when looking back at the interaction:
“Right after I had found out all of what he had done and I was a little, little nervous after that.”
An employee at the Chevron, Keri Dee, said that the suspect had walked by her and dropped some money, but took something from them while face to face:
“He grabbed my cigarette and looked right at me and then just kept going.”
The alleged stabber was later identified as 20-year-old Salvador Martinez-Romero, who police had apprehended at around 11:45 a.m. after he fled from officers in a residential area near SW Pacific Hwy.
Resident from the residential neighborhood who witnessed the conclusion of the chase described it as unsettling.
Annemarie Rotaru mentioned that her son, Elias Rotaru, could hear the uproar involving police and the suspect not far from their home:
“One of my kids is inside here, and he called me and said, ‘mom, you left the door open and we [could’ve been] killed.’”
Elias mentioned that he wasn’t certain if the suspect was hiding amid their yard while police were actively searching for him:
“I went around the house. I had a pocket knife on me …just in case, you never know.”
Others who had witnessed the culmination of the arrest stated that they could hear officers calling in an ambulance for the suspect.
Some had reported that Martinez-Romero appeared to have been bleeding from the leg, though there’s no detail yet if that was an injury sustained during the crime spree or with interacting with police.
Martinez-Romero is currently facing charges murder, attempted murder, and two counts of first-degree robbery.
The scene was inundated with the Washington County Major Crimes Team for several hours that Wednesday and apparently the FBI is also involved in the investigation.
Sources tell us that because of Oregon’s laws surrounding immigration, we have yet to receive confirmation of whether the suspect is legally in the United States.