Suspect in Florida stabbings worried about getting fired

Antwann BrownThe Associated Press
This photo provided by the Leon County Detention Facility and posted on the Tallahassee, Fla., Police Department Facebook page shows Antwann Brown. Police in Tallahassee were still trying to determine what set off suspect Brown and prompted him on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, to pull out a pocketknife and stab co-workers before fleeing a workplace on foot. Brown was apprehended without a struggle not far from Dyke Industries, which supplies doors and windows to residential and commercial customers. (Leon County Detention Facility via AP)

A Florida man who's accused of stabbing five people at his workplace has been charged with five counts of attempted murder, as authorities said his rampage was triggered when he feared he was about to be fired.

Five people were hospitalized with multiple stab wounds, including the man's supervisor at the door and window supply company and a job applicant. Four remained in the hospital Thursday in good condition.

An arrest affidavit released overnight by the Tallahassee Police Department describes a chilling scene Wednesday, as one co-worker pleaded not to be killed.

"I'm going to spare you this time," 41-year-old suspect Antwann Brown replied, according to the affidavit.

Brown, then left the building and walked across the street, where police say he called his pastor to ask for forgiveness and prayer.

Police found the suspect smeared with blood and took him into custody.

A co-worker who had driven Brown to work told investigators that the man was in good spirits, according to the affidavit.

The suspect's mood changed dramatically, the affidavit said, after overhearing his supervisor and another manager at Dyke Industries talking "in a coded manner about needing to terminate Brown."

The employee confronted his supervisor and an argument erupted. The supervisor ordered Brown to leave the premises, and Brown clocked out at about 8:20 a.m. — 20 minutes after he had started his shift, police previously said.

The suspect returned minutes later and used what police described as a serrated folding pocket knife to stab his supervisor, a job applicant and three other people.

During a press conference hours after the attacks, acting Police Chief Steven Outlaw said the suspect sought out his victims.

Police said Brown had been working at Dyke Industries for more than three months.

In addition to the attempted murder counts, Brown also faces a count of aggravated assault.

Court records show Brown has a lengthy arrest record, mostly for drug offenses, starting when he was in his teens. He had past arrests for resisting arrest without violence, trespassing, grand theft and domestic battery. The battery charge was dropped in 2014.