Santa Rosa police investigate possible connection between 2 stabbings, 1 fatal

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Santa Rosa police are investigating whether a violent stabbing at a movie theater could be connected to a killing earlier this week. (KGO-TV)

Police are identifying the man they say randomly stabbed a movie goer in Santa Rosa at the Roxy Theater.

Police say the victim in the stabbing had just moved here from Southern California. He came to see a scary movie, but he had no idea he'd be scared for his life.

Police say they've caught the man responsible, but some people are still on edge. Longtime residents say Santa Rosa's changing.

"Things are ramping up around here. There's been a big homeless problem, I've seen sketchy stuff," said Santa Rosa resident Buckaroo Lennox.

In a normally quiet city it's the second stabbing in less than a week. The attack occurred 10 minutes into an afternoon showing of "The Shallows" a real life horror unfolded.

"The suspect came up behind the victim with a large kitchen knife and began stabbing the victim in the upper body area," said Santa Rosa police Capt. Rainer Navarro.

An employee says moviegoers streamed out of the theater shouting to call 911.

Witnesses say the 21-year-old man, now hospitalized, was stabbed multiple times, including at least once in the neck.

They also described the suspect, who police arrested two blocks away. They say 23-year-old Dalonte Hart came to Santa Rosa from Baltimore about four months ago.

"We don't think he lives anywhere, we believe he's homeless," Nava rro said,

The locals have seen him around.

"He looks like a kind of a mentally ill person, and he doesn't look like a normal person," said cab driver Tecle Ghide.

Now, they wonder if he's connected to another stabbing, the murder of a homeless poet known as Cirak.

"It was heartbreaking. You know you just go into shock," said one resident.

Nick Grizzle was walking home, a block away from the murder.

"First thing I thought of was that could've been me. You know?" Grizzle said.

Police are investigating whether Hart was involved in that stabbing.

"Based on the seriousness of the attack, the fact that they both appear to be random, we are looking to see if there's a connection," Navarro said.

The theater owners say they're working with police. The victim in that stabbing is expected to survive.
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