Suspect, 2 victims dead after stabbings at Taunton mall, house

A suspect and two victims are dead after two separate stabbing incidents at a house and mall in Taunton.

According to State Police, two stabbings occurred at the Galleria Mall after the suspect crash a car into the front of a store. 

The two other stabbings happened at a home on Myrick Street. 

Officials said the suspect, identified as 28-year-old Arthur Darosa stabbed two women, a mother and daughter, inside.

The 80-year-old mother, identified by sources as Patricia Slavin, was pronounced dead and her daughter was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Neighbors described Slavin and her family as "nice people."

"Very nice people, I couldn’t ask for better neighbors all around," the neighbor told 7News.

Officials said Darosa then stole a car and drove it to the Silver City Galleria Mall. Witnesses reported seeing the car driving erratically through the mall’s parking lot. Police said Darosa crashed the stolen car into the entrance of the Macy’s at the mall, then went inside and assaulted "multiple" people at the department store.

Officials said Darosa then left Macy’s and went to the Bertucci’s, where he stabbed four people.

The other victim was George Heath,56, a teacher at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School l.

Officials said Darosa was shot at the mall by an off-duty Plymouth County sheriff’s deputy. The sheriff’s deputy allegedly ordered Darosa to drop his knife before shooting him.

Witnesses told 7News that they saw people running out of the mall and heard gunfire. Witnesses reported seeing police officers with guns drawn and that the mall was evacuated. 

Witnesses said Darosa was seen at a soccer field with his children before the incident. It’s reported he got a phone call while at the soccer field, and appeared upset afterwards.

The district attorney confirms he picked the home with the two women inside at random.

There is no word on the status of the wounded victims, and the investigation is ongoing.

Police are now interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance video.

James O’Brien, superintendent of Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School released a statement Wednesday morning: 

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I inform the community of the following.

Mr. George Heath, one of our visual design instructors for the past 4 years, was a victim of a random act of senseless violence at the Galleria Mall in Taunton on Tuesday evening.

Mr. Heath was a tremendous educator with a great passion for teaching; he was influential in sparking creativity and a love of learning in all of his students.

More details and information will be forthcoming.

Please keep George, his family and the Voc-Tech Family in your thoughts during this difficult time.

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