Hero in fatal mall stabbing: We wish to go back to our lives

AP News
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Posted: May 19, 2016 8:18 PM

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A sheriff's deputy called a hero for fatally shooting a man who went on a stabbing rampage in a restaurant says he just wants to get back to his normal life.

Plymouth County Deputy James Creed said the May 10 events, in which two people were killed and five were injured, were a senseless tragedy.

"While we appreciate all of the kind words and messages that we have received, there is no cause for celebration regarding this incident," he wrote on his department's Facebook page. "We only wish to go back to our jobs, our families, and our lives."

Creed has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which is routine for shootings involving law enforcement officers.

He thanked everyone involved in the response to the stabbings, singling out teacher George Heath, who was fatally stabbed while defending a waitress at the Bertucci's restaurant at Taunton's Silver City Galleria mall, and his wife, nurse Laura Creed, who administered first aid to the victims in the restaurant.

James Creed, who was off-duty and out of uniform, was having dinner with his wife when he used a personal firearm to shoot Arthur DaRosa, who had gone on the rampage a day after he went to a hospital feeling depressed and suicidal.

DaRosa left his daughter's soccer practice the day of the stabbings, crashed his car and then entered a home at random and stabbed two women. One of the women, Patricia Slavin, later died.

Emergency recordings released Thursday include a call placed by Slavin's adult daughter, Kathleen Slavin.

"This guy just came in and stabbed us, me and my mother," she said. "Oh my God. ... She's bleeding everywhere."

DaRosa then drove to the mall, several miles away, crashed his car into a Macy's department store and assaulted three people in the store before going to the restaurant and stabbing Heath and a pregnant waitress.

"Some man just crashed through the building, and he was enraged," a female caller says on the 911 tapes. "Someone just charged into the building and then attacked me and attacked other people, and my head is all bleeding."

Another caller reported moments later: "Multiple people are stabbed. A girl stabbed everywhere. In her neck, in her back, in her side. Everywhere."

The stabbings called into question the way hospital emergency departments handle mental health patients. DaRosa's family has said he admitted himself to a hospital but was discharged without being treated for his mental illness. The state is investigating.

A funeral for Patricia Slavin, who was 80 years old, was held Wednesday. Heath, who was 56, will be remembered at a memorial in June. The other victims are recovering.