Fatal stabbing at Center City Macy’s alarms many

The stabbing happened just before 11 a.m. Monday at 13th and Market streets, one block from City Hall.

Police tape is seen inside of a the Macy's retail location after reports of an alleged stabbing at the department store

Police tape is seen inside of a the Macy's retail location after reports of an alleged stabbing at the department store, Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia police say a man stabbed two security guards, killing one and injuring the other. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Philadelphia police have arrested a man accused of stabbing two security workers at the Center City Macy’s, killing one. Officials have not released details on the condition of the second victim.

Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford said the man was allowed to leave the store after he tried to steal some hats, but he returned with a knife and stabbed the two employees.

Police say the suspect fled on SEPTA’s Market Frankford Line and was apprehended at the Somerset station by SEPTA police. Stanford said witnesses positively identified the suspect.

Police say the Center City Macy’s location is the scene of hundreds of theft reports this year. Stanford said the store pays for police to work in the store as a deterrent, but city officers were not working at the time of the stabbing.

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Stanford would not say if the man was known to police for previous crimes. That, he said, would be part of a larger investigation into the incident.

The commissioner said Macy’s Center City has been the scene of numerous retail thefts, including the fatal stabbing on Monday.

“Macy’s unfortunately is one of the locations in Center City that has experienced one of the highest levels of retail theft. Year-to-date they have just over 250 reports of retail theft at this location,” Stanford said.

He said crime in general is down in Philadelphia, but not enough.

“It’s a big concern for our city, and we have to continue to push, we have to continue to to work together because again, it’s just not the police. This is everybody in the city coming together to try to push to make sure that we are working for a better city and a safer city.”

Police officers are staffing stores on overtime to reduce crime. Stanford said while Macy’s is one of the stores officers have worked in, none were there on duty at the time of Monday morning’s stabbing.

For more than a century, the store has been a huge draw for Center City shoppers. The former Wanamaker’s store draws thousands of holiday visitors every year to take in the Christmas light show displayed in the central atrium. That show is accompanied by the largest playing pipe organ in the world with holiday narration recorded by Julie Andrews

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