Man stabbed stranger in Austin Academy sporting goods store, police say

Crime

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man faces a second-degree felony charge after police say he stabbed someone at a sporting goods store Saturday in northwest Austin.

Nicholas James McPherson, 40, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon following an incident, according to an arrest affidavit, that took place at the Academy Sports and Outdoors store at 12250 Research Blvd.

Police say McPherson stabbed a customer, creating a “one-inch wide by two-inch deep wound on top of the victim’s left shoulder.”

Police say they arrested McPherson less than a mile from the store at 1:18 p.m., about 10 minutes after the customer was stabbed.

The arrest affidavit says the victim and McPherson didn’t know each other. The victim was in the store shopping for a hat, and then felt pain in his left shoulder. The victim reached back after feeling the sharp pain and noticed “a lot of blood on the palm of his hand,” the affidavit said.

The victim told police after McPherson stabbed him, he “calmly folded” a three-inch knife and put it in his pants pocket. After McPherson did that, he started to walk out of the store, but then ran as soon as the victim yelled at him, the affidavit said.

The affidavit said when officers reviewed surveillance video, McPherson was seen standing still near clothing watching people walk around the store. At 1:08 p.m., police said McPherson walked toward a hat display where the victim was, got behind the victim and grabbed them with his right hand. He then stabbed the victim with his left hand in the left shoulder, the affidavit said.

Police said the victim’s wound was about four inches to the left of their neck.

Jail records indicate McPherson is currently booked in the Travis County Jail. Attorney information for McPherson was not immediately available, but once it is, we will contact his attorney and request a statement on his behalf.

Austin Police confirmed as of Saturday, McPherson was homeless.

In a search of his criminal history, KXAN found McPherson has a lengthy criminal background spanning Austin, Manor, Cedar Park and other parts of Williamson County, with convictions of DUIs, a number of drug charges, robbery, criminal trespassing, escaping police custody, and most notably the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl. McPherson remains on the state’s sex offender registry.

Academy Sports & Outdoors released a statement Sunday, saying:

“At Academy Sports + Outdoors, our priority is the safety of our customers and team members. We were shocked and saddened this happened in one of our stores. We send our thoughts and prayers to the person injured with hopes he recovers quickly. We are cooperating with Austin Police in the investigation.”

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