PLYMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — A Plymouth County Sheriff’s deputy is being credited with putting a stop to an attack at Silver City Galleria that claimed the life of a Taunton man and left others injured.
According to Sheriff Joseph McDonald, Jr., Deputy James Creed was having dinner with his wife at Bertucci’s Tuesday night when the violence unfolded. The suspect, 28-year-old Arthur DaRosa, armed himself with a knife and started attacking people in the restaurant.
Upon hearing the commotion, Creed – who was off-duty and in civilian clothes – displayed his badge, identified himself, and told DaRosa multiple times to drop the knife. When he refused to comply, Creed used his personal firearm to shoot DaRosa once in the abdomen, according to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn.
McDonald said Creed then began rendering aid to DaRosa and his victims.
One of the victims, 56-year-old George Heath, was stabbed while trying to stop the attack. He and DaRosa both died from their injuries at the hospital.
A 26-year-old pregnant woman who was stabbed is currently in serious condition at Rhode Island Hospital.
“On a personal level, understandably I am proud of Deputy Creed, his heroic actions and his ability to apply his professional training and restraint in an obviously traumatic and perilous situation,” McDonald said in a statement. “I am also relieved that through his swift and deliberate response, further additional loss of life or injury to other bystanders was averted.”
“He reacted in a professional but heroic manner by taking the only course of conduct that was available to him at that time,” said DA Quinn. “He prevented further carnage from occurring by his actions.”
The Sheriff said Creed has been with the department since 2005 and been with the K9 unit – partnered with patrol and narcotics K9 Officer Rony – since 2007.
The deputy has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure following an officer-involved shooting.
According to police, the incident involving DaRosa began earlier Tuesday night on Myricks Street in Taunton. Police said he crashed his car, gained access to a home, and stabbed two women inside.
Patricia Slavin, 80, was later pronounced dead at Morton Hospital while 48-year-old Kathleen Slavin at last check was in stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
After stabbing the two women, police said DaRosa drove to the mall, crashed into the front of Macy’s and assaulted several people inside the store before making his way to Bertucci’s.
The incident remains under investigation.