HOUSTON, Texas – A Houston Community College police officer has survived an assassination attempt after being stabbed by her assailant 14 times. The officer was saved by civilians who stepped in and stopped the attacker. The attacker told investigators he did this to get back at police for their brutality. A spokesman from the family said it might be related to the Baltimore riots.
Officer April Pikes remains in critical condition at Houston’s Ben Taub Hospital, a public relations official at the Houston Police Department said to Breitbart Texas. Her alleged attacker, Jeremiah M. Matthews, 23, was pulled off of her by a group of men while he was stabbing her and attempting to grab her pistol, according to a statement from HPD obtained by Breitbart Texas.
Harris County prosecutors said that Matthews told them “he had the intent to attack a police officer and his desire to kill a police officer,” according to a Click2Houston.com report. One of the witnesses, Abe Baker, who helped stop the attack said, “I saw him on her, just stabbing her.”
“I wasn’t really thinking,” Baker said. “His arm was just up getting ready to stab her and I just grabbed his arm and took him down, and that’s when everybody else came over and we all just took him down.”
The HPD statement revealed that Matthews stabbed her several times before he was tackled and disarmed. The statement says he was attempting to gain control of her duty weapon. After taking down the suspect, the good Samaritans used the officer’s handcuffs to detain Matthews until other police officers arrived and arrested him.
The Click2Houston report states that Pike may lose her right arm. She was stabbed repeatedly in her right arm and torso.
The scene of the attack was a Walmart located in Meyerland (Southwest Houston), where Pikes was working an approved off-duty security job. Pikes was in uniform when she was attacked.
“He was in an upbeat mood, whistling and he had a fast pace, walking fast,” Baker said of the assailant, who was smiling and cheerful right up until the moment he began his surprise attack.
“He does have a diagnostic history of mental illness in the past. To what degree that played into what happened, we don’t know,” local community activist Deric Muhammad said, speaking on behalf of the Matthews family. He said it is possible that Matthews was inspired by the riots in Baltimore Monday night.
The weapon was described as a hunting knife in a report by Fox26Houston’s Kristine Galvan.
“That was an innocent woman. She had family, loved ones,” Abe Baker told Galvan. “That’s someone’s life and everyone’s life counts and matters.”
Baker said he stopped by the Walmart on a late-night errand to pick up some laundry soap, and came to the rescue when he heard Pikes’ screams. His quick action, and the response of the other men, probably saved her life.
“I want to offer my condolences to the victim,” said Vanessa Johnson, Matthews’ mother, in the Fox26 video. “As a mother this is painful. I wish her a speedy recovery. My heart and prayers are going out to her and their entire family.”
The HPD statement from Wednesday morning states that Matthews has been charged with Attempted Capital Murder. His case has been assigned to the 182nd State District Court, which is presided over by Judge Jeannine Barr.