Police in Martin County, Florida, are investigating a Florida State University student who stabbed a couple who were sitting in their garage on Monday evening. After killing the two, the attacker proceeded to eat one of the victim’s faces.
19-year-old Austin Harrouff was having dinner with his family on Monday when he got angry and stormed out of the restaurant. While walking home, he passed John Joseph Stevens III, 59, and his wife, Michelle Stevens, 53. He then approached the couple and stabbed them to death.
Harrouff is also being charged for stabbing Jeff Fisher, a neighbor who tried to intervene during the attack. When Fisher dialed 911, Harrouff began to eat the face of John Stevens.
When police arrived on the scene, it took a great deal of force to separate Harrouff from the victim. The first deputy arrived on the scene and used her Taser in order to subdue Harrouff. However, he continued with his cannibalistic attack. She then tried to physically pull him off but she was not able to overpower him.
It took several other deputies, as well as a police K-9, to eventually separate Harrouff from the victim.
"The suspect in this case was abnormally strong," said Martin County Sheriff William Snyder. Although police believed that Harrouff could have been on some type of drug, hospital blood tests showed no signs of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin or other common drugs. Police are now running tests for less common hallucinogenic drugs such as flakka or bath salts. The results of these tests are still pending.
Harrouff took off some of his clothes during the attack and when he arrived at the hospital, he was making “animal-like noises.”
Members of the community are still at a loss as to how something so tragic could have happened to the nice couple. The Stevens were a social couple who often sat in their garage, which they turned into a makeshift lounge. They got along with all of their neighbors and were greatly adored.
Fisher, the neighbor who tried to rescue the couple, was extremely close to them. He has received treatment for his multiple stab wounds and is expected to make a full recovery.
(Photos from top: sturti/Getty Images, Martin County Sheriff's Office)