Police: Woman stabbed inside pharmacy in ‘random’ attack

Jacob Gallant, 41, of Westport, Mass. is accused of stabbing a worker inside a Warwick Rite Aid.

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – An 18-year-old woman was stabbed multiple times while working inside a Warwick pharmacy in what police are describing as a “random” attack.

“She was working inside the store just going about her job, loading the cooler, and at that point, that’s when she was attacked,” said Warwick Police Lt. Joseph Petarca.

Petrarca told Eyewitness News the incident happened at around 3 p.m. Sunday inside the Rite Aid at 1201 Warwick Avenue.

Police said an 18-year-old female worker was stabbed with a large knife by Jacob Gallant, 41, of Westport, Mass. Gallant had been reported missing by family members early Saturday.

Westport Police told Eyewitness News Gallant has no prior criminal record.

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Warwick Police Detective Captain Jamie Calise said two co-workers of the convenience store came to the victim’s aid by intervening, and restraining the suspect until police arrived.

The victim was brought by rescue to Rhode Island Hospital with multiple stab wounds and underwent surgery. At last check, she was in serious, but stable condition.

Charges are pending against the suspect, who was taken into police custody and transported to the hospital for minor injuries.

“It was very troubling because there was no known relationship between the two,” said Calise of the incident.

Petrarca said the random nature of the crime is a reminder that people should always be alert.

“Always be aware of your surroundings,” he said. “Be vigilant, if you see anything suspicious in nature, call us up. Call the police.”