A man watching the shark attack thriller The Shallows at a Santa Rosa, California movie theater was stabbed repeatedly Wednesday afternoon in what police said was a random attack.
An unnamed 21-year-old man was attacked from behind and stabbed multiple times by an unidentified 23-year-old male approximately 30 minutes into the screening at the Roxy Theater in Santa Rosa, law enforcement sources told the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.
“Out of nowhere, he came up from behind him, he stabbed him in the throat, in the arm, in the lung,” Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Josh Ludtke told the paper.
The victim was taken to the local hospital with life-threatening injuries, where he remained hospitalized as of Thursday morning.
A detective investigates a stabbing inside auditorium 9 at the Roxy Theater in downtown Santa Rosa. pic.twitter.com/aq2YFXzz7d
— Christi Warren (@SeaWarren) June 30, 2016
Police said the stabbing appeared to be random and that the attacker and the victim did not know each other. The attacker left the knife used in the stabbing in a trash can outside the theater. He was taken into custody by police a short time later and reportedly provided a name and an age to the arresting officer, but police said they were not immediately able to establish his identity.
The attacker was described as a black man with a full beard and dreadlocks.
A portion of the Roxy Theater was closed Wednesday night as police gathered evidence but was expected to re-open Thursday.
Police are also trying to determine whether the movie theater attacker was the same man who stabbed and killed 32-year-old Cirak Tesfazgi early Monday morning in downtown Santa Rosa. Tesfazgi was reportedly stabbed 50 times in the attack.
Santa Rosa Police Cpt. Ray Navarro told the Press-Democrat that law enforcement was “looking to see if there’s any correlation” between the two crimes or with any other crimes that occurred in the area recently.
The Shallows stars Blake Lively as a surfer who struggles to stay alive after she is attacked by a shark far from shore.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum