We’ve got another face-eating psychopath in Florida, and this time, two of his three victims didn’t survive.
Something made a young man go mad.
He viciously stabbed a married couple twice his age, plus a neighbor who tried to intervene, deputies said. They found him crouched over the bleeding body of the man, biting chunks of his face off.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told reporters his deputies found the suspect late Monday in the driveway of a Tequesta home. Officers shot their stun guns at the 19-year-old multiple times to no avail. Even a police dog couldn’t get the man to release his victim.
Finally, three to four cops were able to wrench the suspect off the dead man. The man was “making animal noises,” and “grunting and growling” as officers yanked him away.
Inside the garage they found his wife, also stabbed to death. Inside the garage, deputies found a scene of carnage. Multiple “weapons of opportunity” were used to beat, slash and attack the couple, including a switchblade the suspect was known to carry. Officials said it looked like the husband tried to fight back.
“There was an enormous amount of violence in that garage,” Snyder said.
According to neighbors, the couple often liked to sit inside their garage with the door open. That’s how they were spending their Monday evening, Snyder said, until 19-year-old Austin Harrouff showed up. He didn’t know the couple, Snyder said. He called it a “completely unprovoked and random attack.”
The face-eating killer, Austin Harrouff, was a seemingly normal frat boy from Florida State, a member of Alpha Delta Pi. He stormed out of a sports bar where he was dining with his parents—allegedly for slow service—and decided to feast on his fellow human beings instead.
I can’t imagine the thought process there.
“This fried onion appetizer is taking too long… maybe I’ll go murder some random people and eat their faces raw.”
But something like that apparently took place, and as freaky as it is, humans going defective like this isn’t all that rare.
One of the bonuses of my training schedule is that I get to meet a lot of exceptionally-well trained instructors and students, many of them with decades of real-world experience in the military and law enforcement, and sometimes both. I’ve learned tons from them in classrooms and on the range, but often I will learn the most after the final shot of the day has been fired and we retire to have dinner and maybe a relaxing beverage or two.
It is in that environment that I’ve been fortunate to hear stories that both opened my eyes to utter depravity and evil that can come from some human beings, and the fact that it really can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time, and come from the most unlikely of places.
The neighbor of a random killer almost always says the same thing on television, right?
“He/she was always such a nice kid…”
Humans have a stunning capacity for self-delusion. We can convince ourselves that “it can’t happen here, and it can’t happen to me,” because bad things are something that happens to bad people in bad parts of town, or to people who take unnecessary risks.
That is not true, and never has been.
This deceased and partially-digested couple lived in a decent neighborhood. Their only mistake was being at home, enjoying the weather, and assuming that random, senseless violence couldn’t happen to them.
It could happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time, including in your own home.
We’ve covered far too many cases of home invasions, random street attacks, and other incidents to think that anywhere is safe just because you’re comfortable there.
The best-trained, most experienced people I know in the firearms training industry are never more than a step away from a handgun, and usually not too far from a long-gun.
I’d call that a “clue.”