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Elderly man stabbed in chest while attempting to stop a purported shoplifter at an Oklahoma mall
Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

Elderly man stabbed in chest while attempting to stop a purported shoplifter at an Oklahoma mall

Authorities arrested a 19-year-old male after he reportedly stabbed a 71-year-old man during a confrontation at a Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dillard's on Monday.

The 71-year-old male, who remains unnamed at the time of this reporting, was hospitalized after being stabbed in the chest.

The elderly man reportedly confronted 19-year-old David Alvarado after believing him to be stealing from the store.

What are the details?

Danny Bean, a public information officer with the Tulsa Police Department, said that the confrontation took place at the Dillard's at the Woodland Hills Mall.

The man reportedly witnessed Alvarado attempting to shoplift from the store and intervened.

"A little scuffle happened with them and they separated," Bean said. "About that time, our suspect drew a knife out of the coat he was wearing and then stabbed our victim in the chest."

The elderly man was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. The victim is in stable condition at the time of this reporting, according to KOKH-TV.

Following the incident, the suspect fled from the mall and initially evaded arrest.

On Tuesday, however, authorities were able to locate and arrest Alvarado on charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon. He was booked into the Tulsa County Jail.

Karen Gilbert, executive director for Tulsa Crime Stoppers, said that citizens should not take matters such as this into their own hands "because they don't know what they're getting into."

"You don't know if that suspect has a weapon on them, whether it be a knife or gun, so that's why it's so important to be that good witness," Gilbert said.

The Tulsa Police Department also shared information on the attack on Monday.

The department's post read:

On 4/26/21 around 3:00 p.m., Mingo Valley officers got called out to a stabbing at the Dillards in south Tulsa.

The victim, a 71-year-old man, was shopping inside the store. The victim saw a young man shoplifting merchandise, so he confronted him.

The suspect pulled out a knife and then stabbed the victim once in the chest/abdomen area. The victim was taken to a local hospital and is stable after surgery.

The suspect was last seen heading north from the mall. He was described as a Native American or Hispanic male, 17-18 years of age. He has dark hair in a ponytail or bun, and he had on a bulky dark jacket, black jeans, and black tennis shoes.

Detectives have a good lead in this case, but we're still looking for information from the public. Anyone who knows anything should call Tulsa Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS. You can remain anonymous when calling.

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