HOUSTON – A man repeatedly stabbed a Houston Community College officer who was working security in a Meyerland-area Walmart, police say.
Jeremiah Matthews, 23, is charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer.
The attack happened before 2 a.m. Tuesday at the store along Post Oak near the South Loop.
Witness Abe Baker told KHOU 11 News that he saw Matthews walk into the store whistling just moments before the attack occurred.
The suspect allegedly walked up to the police officer near the store's front registers, pulled out a knife and then started repeatedly stabbing her.
"I heard continuous screaming, and I turned that corner and he was on top of her stabbing her," Baker said. "I just grabbed his arm and took him down. It happened so fast I couldn't think, I just jumped into action."
Other bystanders helped use the wounded officer's handcuffs to contain the attacker until Houston police arrived.
"Really those are the heroes here if you want to talk about that," said Houston Police Department spokesman Kese Smith. "They had a choice. They could have run, but they chose to intervene, and there's an HCC officer who's fighting for her life at Ben Taub because of their timely intervention."
The officer was taken to the hospital in critical condition as the suspect was taken into custody.
A few hours after the stabbing, the officer was "out of surgery, in ICU and resting comfortably," according to HCC.
Matthews appeared calm, stoic and quiet as officers photographed him outside the Walmart.
HCC has not yet commented on the crime.