5 people stabbed at Tallahassee business; suspect in custody

Police: Employee told to leave work used pocketknife to stab co-workers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A man ordered to leave a construction-supply business after quarreling with co-workers returned minutes later and stabbed five employees Wednesday in LeonTallahassee, seriously wounding one of them, authorities said. 

The suspect, who was arrested nearby, is 41-year-old Antwann Brown, according to the Tallahassee Police Department. He is facing five counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault, the State Attorney's Office confirmed.

One victim was in serious condition at a hospital, two were in fair condition and another two were in good condition, said Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare spokeswoman Danielle Buchanan.

Using a pocketknife, Brown appeared to seek out certain colleagues at the facility on Maryland Circle around 8:37 a.m., according to police.

Brown was apprehended without a struggle not far from Dyke Industries, which supplies doors and windows to residential and commercial customers. Police said he had worked there for just over three months.

Interim Police Chief Steven Outlaw said there was no indication of any pending employment actions against Brown. A company representative didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Police said Brown clocked in at about 8 a.m. as he normally should. Minutes later, "he was engaged in some kind of dispute at work,'' Outlaw said, "and clocked out at 8:20.'' Outlaw could not elaborate on what the dispute was about.

When the suspect later returned and allegedly began attacking people, other co-workers fended him off with sticks and whatever they could grab, according to Outlaw, calling those "heroic'' actions. 

“It actually held him at bay at one point momentarily. That delayed his escape, which was very good for us," Outlaw said.

Court records show Brown has a lengthy arrest record, mostly for drug offenses, dating back from when he was in his teens. He had past arrests for resisting arrest without violence, trespassing, grand theft and domestic battery. The battery charge was dropped in 2014.

Initial reports indicated the victims were stabbed at a Coca-Cola plant, but police later corrected that information, saying the stabbings occurred at Dyke, which shares the same complex.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, family members gathered at the scene Wednesday and described a terrifying incident with at least one victim who was at Dyke Industries for a job interview being stabbed as many as five times. 

The mass stabbing comes as the Florida Senate prepares to hold hearings on mass violence starting next week.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.