Off-duty officer hailed as hero in stabbing rampage at Massachusetts mall

An off-duty deputy who was eating at a Taunton, Massachusetts, restaurant when a man ran in and started stabbing people Tuesday night is being praised for his heroic efforts.

Plymouth County sheriff's deputy James Creed was at Bertucci's Italian Restaurant in the Silver City Galleria mall and demanded several times for suspect Arthur DaRosa, 28, to put down a knife he had stolen from the restaurant.

"He reacted in a professional, but heroic manner," District Attorney Thomas Quinn said.

The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office said Creed was in civilian clothes and discharged a single round from his personal firearm.

"On a personal level, understandably, I am proud of deputy Creed, his heroic actions and his ability to apply his professional training and restraint in an obviously traumatic and perilous situation," Sheriff Joseph McDonald Jr. said. "I am also relieved that through his swift and deliberate response, further additional loss of life or injury to other bystanders was averted."

DaRosa fatally stabbed George Heath, a visual design teacher at the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, inside the restaurant. Bertucci's waitress Sheenah Savoy was also stabbed. She was med-flighted to Rhode Island Hospital.

One other person died and four others were injured in DaRosa's stabbing spree Tuesday night. The attacks took place at the Silver City Galleria mall and a home on Myricks Street. Authorities did not provide a motive for the assaults.

Creed, who has been a Plymouth County sheriff's deputy since 2005, works with K-9 Rony and their training is in patrol and narcotics. Earlier this year they were recognized for helping to find a missing boy.