“So many things could have gone wrong here,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said following the Friday attack, Newsday reported. “If he was able to buy a rifle, who knows what he was planning to do with it. There was a man running around with a machete attacking people unprovoked. This could’ve been a lot worse.”
Police say West Babylon resident Treyvius Tunstall, 22, visited a Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Bay Shore on Friday afternoon and bought a machete, a knife and a backpack. He inquired about buying guns at the store but was told he needed to go the chain’s Patchogue location to buy rifles.
Tunstall reached the Patchogue store at about 3:15 p.m. Friday, according to police. A store employee inquired about a background check for the man to purchase the firearms, which led to Tunstall walking away and allegedly attacking a store employee and two customers with a machete, according to police.
The suspect walked toward the store’s emergency exit and attacked a store assistant manager who was moving a ladder, Newsday reported, citing Harrison. The employee suffered machete injuries to the torso, arms and head. The employee was left with severed tendons in the arm, and Harrison credited police and paramedics with tying a tourniquet around the employee’s arm, which may have saved his life. The employee is expected to survive, but was listed in serious condition at a local hospital as of Saturday, Newsday reported.
Tunstall then allegedly hit a customer in the head with the back of the machete, which was caught on surveillance video. The suspect attacked another customer in the parking lot, leaving cuts to their arm and shoulder, according to Harrison.
No motive for the attack has been determined. About 15 customers and 10 employees were in the store at the time of the attack, Newsday reported.
“I’m not sure his motive or why he was looking to buy these rifles,” Harrison said. “I think it’s very important to protect people. Certain laws need to be in place and red flag laws are going to be very instrumental to public safety.”
Tunstall reportedly did not speak during the attacks, Harrison said.
Tunstall was arrested after running to a wooded area near a Pep Boys store, where he disposed of the machete near a dumpster. Police ordered him at gunpoint to get on the ground and they found another knife on him during the arrest.
He entered not guilty pleas for three counts of assault and six counts of criminal possession of a weapon. Tunstall’s Suffolk County Legal Aid attorney has requested a medical review, explaining her client might not understand the charges he’s facing, Newsday reported.
A judge set his bail at $ 400,000 cash or $ 800,000 bond and ordered him to stay away from the victims, according to the outlet.
Tunstall had previously been arrested in 2018 for burglary and was charged with menacing earlier this year after allegedly threatening his mother with a knife, according to Harrison.
Dick’s Sporting Goods did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on the matter.