Marked and unmarked Delaware State Police vehicles were parked outside La Piazza Di Caruso restaurant and a Dollar Tree store Sunday night following a stabbing in Glasgow’s Peoples Plaza that left La Piazza’s owner dead.
The incident occurred just before 6:15 p.m., Delaware State Police said Monday. The pizza shop was open at the time of the stabbing.
According to police, troopers were called to the business after receiving reports of the assault. There, they found the 41-year-old owner, whom they have not yet publicly identified, stabbed multiple times. He died at the restaurant, police said.
Police said the suspect, 22-year-old Erik Hilton, entered the pizza shop and confronted the owner of the store. Hilton then attacked the owner and ran from the scene.
Police found him soon after at an “area hospital,” where he was “receiving medical treatment … for an injury sustained during the attack.” He was later charged with murder.
An employee at Dollar Tree − located in the same complex as the pizza shop − told Delaware Online/The News Journal she’d been working when a shopper come up to her to tell her someone was treating their injuries in the store. She didn’t see the person, but saw gauze and blood in one of the aisles.
The person left the store by the time police arrived, but detectives were able to use the store’s surveillance cameras to view him, the employee said. She asked not to be identified.
Police have not yet confirmed the woman’s account or that Hilton went to the Dollar Tree after the stabbing.
Outside Caruso’s on Sunday night, onlookers watched as investigators entered and left the eatery. One woman, Taya Fowler, asked if what was going on inside the restaurant was related to the what was going on inside the Dollar Tree.
“It’s taped off and there’s state police there,” said Fowler, who was trying to buy some items for herself and her children.
“They say you can’t go in because there was a bad incident,” she added before making her way to nearby Safeway. “That’s why I was wondering if it was related.”
A single state police SUV was parked outside the Dollar Tree.
As people walked toward the Dollar Tree, a woman shouted that the store was closed.
By Monday morning, there was no sign of police, though a Bio-One crime scene cleanup crew was working inside the pizza shop.
Workers in white, full-body suits with blue booties and masks could be seen inside the propped-open door.
Police said Hilton, who is facing charges of first-degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, is being held in prison on more than $1 million cash bail.
Contact Esteban Parra at (302) 324-2299, firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @eparra3. Find Isabel Hughes on Twitter at @izzihughes_