Three people were attacked outside of a Nordstrom’s in downtown Seattle this morning by a man with a knife. The victims were all men, ages 77, 75, and 55 years old. The suspect had been clothed during the attack but stripped off his clothes before police arrested him a few blocks away. The identity of the attacker hasn’t been released but police have said that the attack appears to be random. All three of the victims are expected to survive. KIRO Radio spoke to a witness who interacted with the suspect moments before the stabbing spree began:

“I saw a man, he had a knife, an open knife, and he appeared to be stalking down into the underground garage,” [Richard] Johnson said. “It appeared to me that he was looking for somebody to stab.”

Johnson described the suspect as a “disheveled” white male with dirty blonde hair that was almost shoulder length, standing at about 5’8″. He said that the man was “creeping,” instead of walking around the entrance of the underground garage.

“I had to say something, so I said, ‘Hey, what are you doing, what’s going on man?’ He turned around with the knife opened, looked at me and said, ‘You want some of this?’ I said ‘No, I do not’ and I started backing up.”

“He then turned around and focused his attention on me and started walking up toward me,” he said. “At that time, a person walked past me from behind going toward Nordstrom. And the guy turned his attention to him and just stabbed him, right there, right in front of me. He stabbed him in the arm.”

The 55-year-old victim was stabbed in the forearm. The attacker then ran and stabbed another man. Johnson said the first victim then began fighting the attacker using a traffic cone while Johnson himself was warning people about the man with the knife. The attacker crossed the street and stabbed a third man, a panhandler, in the back. Then he walked away, threw the knife he’d used in a Fed Ex truck and stripped:

“Then he reappeared on the sidewalk and proceeded to take off all his clothes and started screaming at the top of his lungs,” Johnson said. “And then he started running as fast as he could, up Pike Street … he was running really fast.”

Michelle Esteban of KOMO 4 News interviewed an eyewitness who saw one of the attacks happen:

Another eyewitness said it was scary but not surprising because “we do have a problem here in Seattle.” When a man stabbing people and getting naked in the street isn’t a surprise, you have a serious problem in your city.

Given what happened, I think it’s a safe bet that either drugs or mental illness were factors in this attack. Once the suspect is identified, which should happen today when he is booked into jail, we’ll hopefully learn more about what prompted this. Until then, here’s the most recent update from police:

Update: Here’s a photo of the knife used in the attack.

Update: Well, this is what we all suspected and now it’s confirmed. The suspect in today’s stabbing is a homeless drug addict named Christopher Morisette: