Polk County man with blood-stained shirt walks into Publix asking for help after stabbing 2, deputies say

Booking image for Derrick Emery

Polk County deputies said a suspect was intoxicated while at a birthday party and stabbed two people who were walking him home. Then, the man entered a Davenport Publix, asking management for help, all while still holding a knife and blood on his shirt.

On Monday, deputies said 32-year-old Derrick Emery was at the party in Davenport, along with both victims. The host decided it was time for Emery to leave, saying he was "very intoxicated," according to the arrest affidavit.

Emery's fiancé chose to stay at the party and the two victims said they would walk him back home. One of the victims knew Emery since high school while the other met him that day, according to the sheriff's office.

As all three were walking along Charo Parkway, investigators said Emery pulled out a pocket knife and began stabbing the victims in an "unprovoked attack." Then, the suspect ran and yelled, 'F--- you" to both victims. Deputies arrived to offer medical attention. One victim had a stab wound to the neck chest and left arm. The other had a stab wound to the chest and arm.

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During an interview with the suspect, detectives said he admitted to being at the party and becoming intoxicated. Neither victim appeared to have directly threatened Emery. Emery said he recalls walking on the sidewalk and noted that the victims were being "plain" with him. Instead, the suspect became "paranoid the two subjects were going to hurt or kill him" as they were talking. 

"At some point, he was reaching into his fanny pack for his phone, however, for reasons unknown to him, he reached into the compartment where his pocket knife was, and before he knew it, he was stabbing the two subjects," according to his arrest affidavit. "He stated everything was a 'blur' and when it was done, he was running across the parking lot looking for help."

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That's when he walked into a Publix. Deputies said he was still holding the knife and had blood on his shirt. 

"None of the interviews conducted alleged either of the two victims had or threatened a weapon, and no other weapons were found at the scene," Emery's arrest affidavit read in part. "Although the defendant stated he feared for his safety, there were no factors revealed which would lead a reasonably prudent person to believe great bodily harm or imminent death was likely."

As a result, detectives said he was not justified in stabbing them. Emery was arrested on attempted second-degree murder charges.