Four Stabbed, Two Dead in Taunton Mall Rampage

The assailant was killed by an off-duty sheriff's deputy.

Photo via iStock/artolympic

Photo via iStock/artolympic

Two people were stabbed to death in Taunton Tuesday night, including an 80-year-old woman, in a chaotic series of events that ended at the Silver City Galleria mall. The assailant, Arthur J. DaRosa, 28, of Taunton, was shot and killed by an off-duty Plymouth County sheriff’s deputy.

DeRosa began his spree when he crashed his car into a truck around 7 p.m., the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office says. He entered a nearby home and stabbed the two women inside, authorities say. Both were taken to Morton Hospital, where the 80-year-old succumbed to her injuries and died. Her adult daughter is being treated with life-threatening injuries.

DeRosa proceeded to the Silver City Galleria, where he crashed his car into the Macy’s department store front door and assaulted several people inside on his way to Bertucci’s. Once inside the restaurant, authorities say DeRosa armed himself with a knife and stabbed two people. One of them, Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational-Technical High School teacher George Heath, 56, of Taunton, has died.

“Such a heart-rending night here in our City. Words cannot describe how or why these things happen,” Taunton Mayor Tom Hoye said in a statement. “Two innocent people have lost their lives in a senseless tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families left to pick up the pieces.”

During the Bertucci’s incident, an off-duty deputy sheriff shot DeRosa once, the DA’s office says. DeRosa was taken to Charlton Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Both the stabbing and assault victims were treated for serious injuries.

“It appears that but for the actions of the deputy sheriff, there may very well have been other victims,” DA Thomas M. Quinn III said in a release. “I want to extend my heartfelt prayers and sympathies to the victims of this horrific violence.”

When asked if DeRosa had a criminal history, Quinn spokesperson Gregg Millotte told the Globe he “hasn’t been in our court system in years.” An investigation is ongoing at several crime scenes.