A man has been arrested in New Mexico after police said he stabbed as many as 11 people at seven different locations over several hours in Albuquerque over the weekend.
The attacks began at around 11 a.m. Sunday and continued for several hours until Tobias Gutierrez, 42, was arrested, according to TV station KOB. He reportedly surrendered to approaching police officers without incident. The victims included someone who was eating inside a restaurant and a person who had just been involved in a car crash, KOB reported. All 11 people who were stabbed were hospitalized.
The Albuquerque attacks follow incidents of violent crime reported in other cities across the country in 2022, and they have created a political issue for officials in places like New York as well as for the Biden administration. In addition, surges seen since the start of the pandemic have affected public opinion. A CNN poll from December showed that 76 percent of those surveyed said the government is not doing enough to address the country’s violent crime rates.
On Sunday, Gilbert Gallegos of the Albuquerque Police Department said about the attacks, “They appear to be random. Someone was involved with an accident here on Central, a person just came up and said they were stabbed.
“There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason at this point,” he added, according to TV station KRQE.
Police said Gutierrez was riding a “BMX-style” bike down Central Avenue, stopping at a series of locations and attacking people with what was described as a large knife, KRQE reported.
Those who were admitted to the hospital and listed as being in critical condition have since been upgraded to stable, KOB said. Others were treated for their injuries and have been discharged from the hospital.
Some victims were stabbed in the arm, neck and hand in incidents reported downtown, near the University of New Mexico, outside an apartment building and inside a convenience store, according to the Associated Press.
“It has been a task for us to really just piece everything together since it was over a period of time and involved several scenes,” Gallegos said, according to KOB.
Gutierrez was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after being identified by several witnesses. No motive for the attacks has been disclosed by police. They encouraged anyone with information to contact the department, according to KOB.
Newsweek reached out to the Albuquerque police for comment but did not hear back before publication.
Update 02/14/22, 2:31 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information and context.