ALBION, N.Y. (WIVB) - Investigators say the victim of a fatal stabbing at the Wal-Mart in Albion was the innocent target of an attempted carjacking, and the suspect in the brutal attack tells them he doesn't know why he did it.
It's hard to believe this violent crime took place at a Wal-Mart in a small farming community in Orleans County. Sunday night, a woman walking to her car was stabbed to death in what police believe was a random carjacking attempt.
"A woman doing some last minute shopping, and her life was ended right here," said Benson.
Wal-Mart shoppers are still stunned. Benson was actually inside the Albion store Sunday night when the cold-blooded murder happened, right in the parking lot.
Benson said, "We went in, came out a few minutes later, and there was a woman [dying] int he parking lot."
24-year-old Luis Flamenco, an illegal Honduran national, is in the Orleans County Jail after admitting to stabbing 45-yearold Kathleen Byham. Police say Byham resisted Flamenco, and he stabbed her over and over again. She was rushed to the Medina Memorial Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead a short time later.
Police say hours after his capture, Flamenco told police, "I saw this woman. She was white and she was walking away from the store out into the parking lot. I ran up to her and snatched her car keys and I started stabbing her with a small bladed kitchen knife that I had taken with me from my house. I don't know why I did it, but I took her keys and ran across the street into the field."
Dawn Davis said, "Ran down to the end of the road, stood there, looked both ways, he didn't know which way he wanted to go. Then he went by my son-in-law's trailer, went behind the woods."
"My friend was a couple cars over and actually witnessed the whole thing. And he got in his truck, and when they proceeded that way and went behind a house, that's when he could no longer do anything about it," said Andrea Hullfish.
Orleans County Undersheriff Steven Smith said, "Some excellent eyewitness descriptions, and we also had some very good video footage from the Wal-Mart security surveillance cameras."
Police caught Flamenco an hour and a half after the attack. Authorities found the knife used to murder Byham in a cornfield across from the store and arrested two illegal Mexican nationals who were with Flamenco for the robbery attempt at a nearby trailer park.
In all, six illegal immigrants were rounded up during this. Flamenco is due back in court to face second degree murder charges on Wednesday. The two Mexican nationals with him have been charged by police as accomplices and are being held by immigration officials at the federal facility in Batavia. Police say the two accomplices did not know the robbery attempt would go that far. And three other illegal immigrants were found to be living in Albion as police investigated the murder.
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