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Massachusetts AMC stabbing suspect was "laughing the whole time" during unprovoked attack, victims' mother says

4 young girls recovering after apparently random stabbing at Massachusetts movie theater
4 young girls recovering after apparently random stabbing at Massachusetts movie theater 02:19

BRAINTREE – The suspect who allegedly stabbed four young girls inside a Massachusetts AMC movie theater Saturday night was "laughing the whole time," the mother of three of the victims said.

Four girls, ages 9 to 17, were stabbed Saturday inside the Braintree AMC theater around 6 p.m. They were all hospitalized, but are expected to survive.

Suspect was "laughing the whole time"

Lisa Dembowski is the mother of three of the girls who were stabbed. She was not there at the time of the incident, but said the group had just arrived for a screening of "IF" and the girls were the only four people in the theater.

"They had just sat down, they had just got their concessions. I guess he came up behind them, they were in like the second row. He came up behind them. My oldest was leaned over to get something, he got her in the back. My other daughter in the chest. My last daughter across her arm," Dembowski said. "Laughing the whole time. Then [stabbed] their friend and ran off. The two older girls chased him outside, then they realized what was going on."

An employee described the suspect as wearing "an oversized trench coat, sunglasses, and a long blonde wig." Police said the suspect fled the movie theater in a black SUV, but video footage allowed investigators to obtain a license plate number.

I-Team sources confirmed that the man in the photo was arrested in connection to the incidents in Braintree and Plymouth. David Curran/

Second stabbing in Plymouth

A second attack was reported around 7 p.m. on Saturday at McDonald's inside a Plymouth rest stop. A 21-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man were hospitalized with stab wounds but are both expected to survive. It appears the incidents were related, police said.

Massachusetts State Police chased the SUV until it crashed in Sandwich and a suspect was taken into custody. According to the WBZ-TV I-Team, the suspect is believed to be connected to a murder in Deep River, Connecticut.

Police have not yet released the suspect's name or what they are charged with.

"A pretty sick individual to harm children"

Dembowski said the children were traumatized by the incident.

"They don't want to go to the movies ever again," she said. "Shaken up. They are physically fine. Kids are resilient. But I think they are terrified that they could just go to a movie on a Saturday night, and this could happen. Someone could just walk into a movie theater and someone could do this."

Dembowski praised the actions of first responders and medical staff. She also said her oldest daughter acted quickly to keep the younger girls calm during a hectic situation.

"More and more this is happening and it makes parents sick to bring their kids anywhere, or let them go anywhere without them. I absolutely feel that way," said Dembowski, who is a guidance counselor at a Massachusetts school. "I hope he gets what he deserves. I understand mental health. I'm a counselor. I understand it. I think it's a pretty sick individual to harm children." 

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