PITTSBURGH — A 16-year-old girl who was visiting Pittsburgh from Tennessee with her family was one of three people stabbed inside a downtown Target store, and she is in critical condition, authorities said Tuesday.
A knife-wielding man ran into the store at about 5:30 p.m. Monday after a fight nearby and briefly took her hostage, authorities said.
The unidentified girl suffered a punctured lung and was taken into surgery, police said Tuesday, and a homeless man, Leon Raymond Walls, 41, was charged in the attack, court records show. There's no evidence Walls knew the girl.
Police say Walls at first headed toward the restrooms in the back of the store in the East Liberty neighborhood and that at least two men entered the store searching for him. Witnesses said one of the men had a baseball bat. Walls allegedly tried to use the girl as a shield while she stood in the checkout lanes with family members, police spokeswoman Diane Richard said.
Walls then allegedly slashed the two men who had chased him and seriously injured the girl.
Police said one of the men will need surgery to repair an injury to his face, while the other man was treated for a hand injury and released.
A police officer was also taken to hospitals to be treated for pepper spray exposure. A bystander who helped to subdue Walls complained of chest pains and was taken to a hospital and listed in stable condition.
Walls was unable to post $250,000 bond, court records show, and no home address or attorney was listed for him.
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Copyright 2013 Associated Press