EASTON — Police are investigating a stabbing that happened at about 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 29, at the Easton Walmart.
The victim, Richard Carroll, 55, of Easton, was flown out about 10:35 by a Maryland State Police medevac helicopter to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
Police said Carroll’s wounds were not life-threatening, and he was recovering at the trauma center. Early Friday afternoon, a spokesman at the University of Maryland Medical Center said Carroll was listed in serious condition.
Carroll reportedly was stabbed in the parking lot before running into the store through the exit door. Police said Carroll told them he had been stabbed by someone wearing blue jeans and a mask. Hours later, he told them the wound was self-inflicted, police said.
Capt. Greg Wright of the Easton Police Department said police are now investigating the incident as a self-inflicted stabbing.
“This is being investigated as self-inflicted based on evidence in his statement,” Wright said. “After sustaining the injury, (Carroll) went into the lobby of Walmart and that is where we met him. He had a knife in his torso, about five inches long.”
Wright said police will continue investigating all evidence, including the victim’s original statement.
Officers from the Easton Police Department and Talbot County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Maryland State Police and the Department of Natural Resources, fanned out across Elliott Road searching for a suspect until about noon, when the Carroll changed his story.
While Carroll was being taken by ambulance to the Trooper 6 hangar at Easton Airport, a Talbot County dispatcher on the Talbot County Fire and EMS scanner reported a “large knife” was still in the victim’s abdomen and bleeding was “uncontrolled.”
Tim Robinson, a Walmart maintenance employee, said he left to take out the trash at 9:30 a.m., and came back inside at about 10 a.m., when he saw the injured man and police officers on scene.
“I must have missed it by seconds,” he said. “He was still laying there. The knife was in his side.”
After news of the incident spread, Saints Peter and Paul Parish & School was on lockdown from about 10 a.m. to 11:25 a.m., according to a spokesperson at the school. She said other schools in the vicinity were also on lockdown, including The Country School.
Police cordoned off the Walmart parking lot with caution tape, but shoppers were still allowed inside. A puddle of blood was on the floor just inside the store lobby, with drops of blood leading from the parking lot.
Around 10 police vehicles and at least a dozen officers were on scene.
Officers were still interviewing witnesses and Walmart employees at 11 a.m. A helicopter circled the skies above Elliott Road, searching for the suspect. Full-tactical geared officers also were on the scene.
Editor Connie Connolly contributed to this story.