This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A man claimed he was acting under the direction of voices in his head when he allegedly stabbed two people at random outside a Salt Lake City grocery store where he had just bought the knife.
In charges filed Monday, police wrote that Kiet Thanh Ly, 34, shouted to witnesses, "Why did you kill my people?" as he attacked two men about 5:20 p.m. Thursday near Smith's Marketplace at 455 S. 500 East in Salt Lake City.
Ly had bought the knife at the store and asked the clerk to help him remove the plastic protective wrapping, police wrote.
He then went outside and stabbed a 30-year-old man multiple times in the abdomen, police wrote. He then stabbed another man, 45, in the head, penetrating his skull and causing the victim's brain to swell, police wrote.
Other people in the parking lot said Ly also threatened them before a customer who was exiting the grocery store drew a gun and held Ly on the ground until police arrived.
One officer said that Ly was yelling, "You racist [expletive] ... you killed my people ... you should all die," according to charging documents.
Both stabbing victims initially were listed in critical condition. Police said Monday both are expected to survive.
Ly later told police he chased "some guy" into the parking lot and stabbed him because voices in his head told him, "These people killed our people," officers wrote. He said he decided not to stab a woman he saw in the parking lot, instead going after the man who then drew his gun on Ly.
"When this happened, Ly stopped what he was doing because he did not want to get shot," police wrote.
Officers wrote that Ly was angry because he said "didn't do anything worse than what [the people he stabbed] did."
Ly was charged in 3rd District Court with two counts of first-degree felony attempted murder and four counts of third-degree felony aggravated assault.
Court records show Ly has a lengthy criminal history, and had been released from jail earlier last week.
On April 23, Ly had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of joy riding and possessing someone else's identifying documents, a court docket shows. He was transported from the jail for that hearing, and a 3rd District Court judge freed him until sentencing on June 18.
Ly also has pending misdemeanor charges of sexually battery and lewdness.
He has misdemeanor convictions in Utah for attempted assault, attempted assault against a police officer, theft and drug possession.
Ly remains at the Salt Lake County jail in lieu of $500,000 cash bail.