Harrowing surveillance footage shows the standoff between customers and a homeless man as he apparently threatened to stab a teenage girl he had allegedly grabbed in a Target store.
The video of the 2013 incident in a Pittsburgh Target store was introduced Wednesday as evidence in the trial against Leon Walls, who was arrested in the attack.
Court records indicate Walls has been charged with three counts of attempted homicide, five for aggravated assault, five counts of recklessly endangering another person, two counts of terrorist threats and one count of false imprisonment, unlawful restraint, simple assault and resisting arrest. He has pleaded not guilty.
Walls, who ABC affiliate station WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh said was homeless at the time of the 2013 attack, is apparently seen grabbing Allison Meadows from the checkout line and dragging her on the floor while holding a knife.
Meadows was visiting Pittsburgh with her family from Tennessee and her mother is seen watching in horror, trying to plead with Walls to let her go, the video shows.
One of the witnesses who later was part of the group that took Walls down spoke to WTAE about what it was like in the store, where Walls had already allegedly stabbed two other men in the store.
"It was so sad," Mike Turner told the station. "To see him stabbing her and the other guys that got stabbed. It was sad to see."
The most dramatic moment in the surveillance footage comes when another man is seen creeping down the nearby aisle to sneak up behind Walls, 44. The man then starts running, jumps up on a checkout counter and grabs Walls.
"That's [when] Superman came into action," Turner said, referring to the man.
Walls is apparently seen grabbing Meadows once more and allegedly stabbing her as more customers came to her aid and restrains him.
"It was the most gut-wrenching thing I've ever had to watch," the teen girl’s father, Glen Meadows, told WTAE after seeing the surveillance footage in court Wednesday.
"It has been an emotional roller coaster," he said.
Assistant district attorney Matthew Robinowitz reportedly told jurors Wednesday they could find Walls guilty but mentally ill, but public defender Andrew Capone asked that he be found not guilty by reason of legal insanity.
“There is no excuse, but there is an explanation,” Capone said during his closing argument, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The jury was given the case this morning.