Witness recalls aftermath of fatal stabbing in grocery store pa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Witness recalls aftermath of fatal stabbing in grocery store parking lot

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MARION (KWWL) - The woman stabbed and killed in a grocery store parking lot once lived with her attacker.

Police say 32-year old Nicholas Luerkens and 29-year old Lynnsey Donald lived together in the past, but Donald moved out a few months ago.

Police haven't said how long the two lived together.

Tuesday evening around 4 o'clock Donald was walking out of the Hy-Vee grocery store in Marion on Highway 151 when police say Luerkens stabbed and killed her with a "large kitchen type knife," before trying to kill himself.

"Then I looked to the left, down an aisle and saw a lady on the ground that was covered in blood from the waist up, bleeding pretty profusely," said Jim Schmitz who was walking out of Hy-Vee seconds after the stabbing. "When I saw her she looked pretty dead. There was a guy next to her, a couple feet away, he was yelling 'I want to die, I want to die, let me die, let me die.'"

Lt. Scott Elam with Marion Police says there was no argument or exchange between Donald and Luerkens.

Chief Harry Daugherty says the attack was targeted and not random.

Even during the whole stabbing incident the Hy-Vee store never closed.

Tara Deering-Hansen, a spokesperson for Hy-Vee, says their focus was on the safety of their employees and customers, while still being cooperative with police. Therefore, closing the store was not their priority.

Deering-Hansen says they never intended to be insensitive to the public or the persons involved in the stabbing, and wouldn't give any other details.

Police say there were several witnesses to the homicide including one woman Schmitz says looked terrified.

"When I came up there, [another] woman was close, and the knife was 20 feet away. She was visibly shaken," said Schmitz.

Schmitz says he heard police were looking for and soon found a young child apparently with Donald, but police won't confirmed that with KWWL.

However, according to Donald's GoFundMe page, her 7-year old son was with her when she was attacked.

Lt. Elam says there are cameras in the parking lot of the store and investigators are taking a look at the video.

Luerkens is still in the hospital recovering from surgery after self-inflected wounds, Lt. Elam says there's no timeline of when he's expected to be released. 

Police say charges are still pending as they gather search warrants and evidence in the brutal attack

"See it in the movies and see it on TV, but you never see it in person," said Schmitz. "Shocking moment, moments that you don't want to have many of those in your life."

Chief Daugherty says this is the first homicide in Marion since 2008.

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