A 36-year-old man charged with cutting and stabbing a 7-Eleven employee in Gaithersburg about 75 times on Thursday, killing him, will remain in custody without bail.
Shaun David King, whose current address is not listed in court records, is accused of killing 63-year-old Abdul Ghaffar, of Cherry Laurel Lane in Gaithersburg.
The reasons for the attack are still unclear.
“There is no indication the defendant knew this man. It appears an attack out of the blue,” Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Hill told District Court Judge Eugene Wolfe, asking that King be held without bail and be medically evaluated. He faces one count of first-degree murder.
The attack took place just before 2 a.m., according to charging documents. King — who was wearing a sweatshirt, and, despite the hour, sunglasses — walked into the 7-Eleven on the 9000 block of Snouffer School Road, and asked a store employee for a hot dog.
Then, he put the hot dog into his sweatshirt pocket — without paying for it — and walked into the bathroom, Hill said. The person from whom he requested the hot dog asked Ghaffar, a fellow employee, to watch King.
As Ghaffar was working by the store’s coffee station, King walked up behind him Ghaffar and ambushed him, Hill said.
“The medical examiner will testify that he was cut and stabbed approximately 75 times,” Hill said of the attack.
The clerk, who was watching the attack, pushed a button that set off an emergency alarm and contacted 911.
Responding officers found Ghaffar “bleeding profusely” from cuts on his neck, chin and wrists. Rescue workers took Ghaffar to Suburban Hospital, where he died from his injuries, according to King’s charging documents.
Hill said Ghaffar is the father of seven children: five daughters who live in Pakistan and two sons currently living in Australia studying medicine.
“He’s a lovely man,” Hill said.
Video footage showed King standing over Ghaffar for almost six minutes after the attack, which gave Montgomery County police time to get to the crime scene and find King leaving the store.
Police arrested King as he was leaving the store, the charging documents said. He had blood on his hands and clothes and a box cutter-style knife stained with blood in his sweatshirt pocket, according to his charging documents. After being handcuffed, he tried to run away again, but was apprehended after a brief chase, police said.
In King’s bail review hearing on Friday, prosecutors said he suffers from schizophrenia and asked that he be evaluated to determine if he is competent to stand trial. He is currently on suicide watch, Hill said.
Hill said King should be denied bail because he tried to flee at the crime scene, and subsequently at the jail.
“We believe, with the aspect of issues to flight, there are significant concerns,” he said.
King spoke little during the hearing.
When Wolfe asked him if he understood the charges he faces, King whispered back, “yes, sir.”
King faces up to life in prison if convicted.
Wolfe ordered King held without bail until a preliminary hearing on Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. He also ordered King to undergo a medical evaluation by local health professionals. If deemed to be not competent and requiring further treatment, he will be transferred to the Clifton T. Perkins Health Center, a maximum-security psychiatric hospital in Jessup.