Man uses concealed weapon to stop stabbing spree, police say he likely saved lives

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Kiet Thanh Ly is accused of a stabbing spree at a downtown Salt Lake City supermarket.
"It's sad, but there are a lot of people out there under great stress...and they sometimes just break," -Virginia Walker
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Kiet Thanh Ly is accused of a stabbing spree at a downtown Salt Lake City supermarket.

The stabbing happened at the 400 South 600 East Smith's location April 26 at about 5:30 p.m. where the stabbings sent customers running for safety.

Police say Ly, who is 33-years-old, bought the knife at the store then stabbed two men in the parking lot and tried to stab others. Police say Ly did not know his victims.

The hero of the hour is a man with a concealed weapons permit. He held Ly at gunpoint until police arrived.

ABC 4 wants to know who he is so we went looking for answers and what we uncovered was a lengthy criminal record spanning 12 years.

His crimes began simple, but slowly escalated to dangerous levels.

His crimes include:
Theft, January 2012
Sexual Battery and Lewdness, October 2011
Attempted Assault against Police Officer, September 2011
Attempted Aggravated Assault, March 2011
Poss of Drug Paraphernalia & Attempted Poss or use of controlled substance, April 2009
False info to Police Officer, Drive on Suspended License, July 2004
Criminal Trespass, August 2000.

Kiet Thanh Ly alleged bought a knife in the Smith's store and used it to stab two men in the parking lot. Both men remain in critical condition one day after the stabbings.

"It's sad, but there are a lot of people out there under great stress. Great problems and they sometimes just break," said Virginia Walker who is visiting Salt Lake City.

Smith's spokeswoman Marsha Gilford is responding to the stabbings with this statement:

"We are shaken by this horrible and random act and we are offering counseling to our store associates who may have witnessed this violence. We send our most sincere wishes for healing to the two victims and we are grateful to those who came to their aid. We are also greatly indebted to the gentleman who kept the incident from escalating any further."

We dug a little deeper uncovering Ly's home address in court records. It led us to the a homeless shelter at 215 South Rio Grande Street in Salt Lake City. No one in the area seemed to know Ly.


Salt Lake City police say the man who stopped the stabbings at Smith's is from rural Idaho and he doesn't want attention.

Police say he was in the right place at the right time and his quick action likely saved lives.

Ly dropped the knife in his hand when he saw a loaded handgun pointed at his body. Moments later a Smith's employee held Ly along with several others until police could arrest him.

ABC 4 talked with concealed weapons permit holders at a store called Bullet Shoot and Sports.

They say people with concealed weapons permits are trained to work with police.

Police say the man from Idaho perfectly followed all the training. He dropped his weapon with police arrived and complied with the investigation.

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