According to her mother, Layla Trawick has a series of mental issues and all attempts to get her medicated or in an institution have failed. Trawick's mother says her daughter has acted out before, but nothing like the stabbing.
"I'd been trying to get her institutionalized for years," said the mother.
Trawick's mother did not want to appear on camera, but she told ABC7 her daughter has been mentally ill since childhood with bipolar and schizophrenia.
Trawick, 35, is accused of stabbing four people at a Target store in West Hollywood. She stabbed three women and a man with a butcher knife and carving knife in what appeared to be a random attack.
One victim is in critical condition.
According to police, an off-duty sheriff's deputy drew his gun on Trawick and got her to drop the knives.
"The two knives that she had in her hand elevated towards me and I told her again, 'Drop your knife,'" said Deputy Clay Grant from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
According to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office, Trawick was arrested in 2007 for obstruction of justice and battery on a peace officer -- charges that were later dismissed. She also had a 2008 arrest for petty theft.
Trawick has one child, a 6-year-old boy who lives with his father in Sacramento.
Witnesses say Trawick screamed "there is no witness protection program" during the attack at the Target store.
Her mother told ABC7 that sounds familiar.
"She thinks that there's a bug in her ear, like a microphone and a camera in her eye. That she's sent on these missions from the government," said Trawick's mother. "So she thinks she should be in the witness protection program and she's not."
Trawick's mother said she spoke with her daughter a few days ago and she seemed fine. The daughter had been living with a boyfriend in Los Angeles in recent months. Before that Trawick worked as a beautician in Antioch.