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Residents react to the Books-A-Million stabbing in Northeast Tallahassee

Tallahassee residents react to a man being stabbed at the Tallahassee Books-A-Million, including a man who ran into the suspect.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 12:26 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - There was a heavy police presence that surrounded a Northeast Tallahassee bookstore Tuesday afternoon after police say a man walked inside, stabbed a man sitting inside and then turned around and left.

Police say this all happened around 1:45pm at the Books-A-Million-on Thomasville road.

The man injured is expected to be okay with the Tallahassee police arresting this 41-year old John McFarland for that incident.

He’s now booked in to the Leon County Jail and is facing a charge of attempted murder.

There were several shocked and scared customers including a man who says he came face to face with McFarland right after leaving the store.

Imagine taking your lunch break and while you’re walking down a sidewalk towards Publix you suddenly run into a man with a bloody knife in his hands. That was reality for one Tallahassee resident Tuesday.

Zachary Kimbrough says a Books-A-Million employee told him the suspect was behind him on his way to Publix but the suspect said he wasn’t in any danger.

”So I mean I wasn’t really scared because he told me he wasn’t going to do anything to me but I was like just shocked because he just had the knife out,” shared Tallahassee resident Zachary Kimbrough.

Kimbrough said he felt like his life was spared Tuesday.

”I was just literally at the wrong place at the wrong time but God stepped in and said no I’m going to save him,” exclaimed Kimbrough. “And it’s a good thing the dude wasn’t going on a rampage because it would’ve been worse if he stabbed three or four people because I wasn’t the only one outside. It was multiple shoppers outside.”

The news of the stabbing brought immense fear to nearby residents.

”Complete shock! I mean I just couldn’t believe a stabbing just happened. What’s the world coming to?,” questioned Tallahassee resident Sarina Boeneke.

The recent strings of violence nationwide is making people feel nowhere is safe.

”Here locally and around the world it’s happening way too much and it really scares me for my kids who are out and about all the time,” said Boeneke.

”Honestly I’m a little bit worried because of something so ominous and dangerous happened in a place where people actually find peace in so it’s really worrying,” said Tallahassee resident Meira Valencia.

Three friends were planning to hang out at the bookstore just hours after the incident and now feel their safe haven could be compromised.

”We definitely have to be careful and be aware of your surroundings. But I feel like honestly nowhere is safe out in the city. You can see Books-A-Million and no one would think something like this would happen at Books-A-Million,” exclaimed friends Amari Davis and Leandro Garcia.

All however, are hoping a stop to the violence is imminent.

Books-A-Million did close for the rest of the day Tuesday but say they will reopen on Wednesday.

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