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Local professor killed in random stabbing

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SEATTLE – Friends say a random double stabbing that killed a local professor was senseless and horrific.

Troy Wolff, 46, was killed trying to protect his girlfriend from a knife wielding stranger in Pioneer Square Friday night.

Wolff lived life to the fullest and loved sharing it with his girlfriend Kristin Ito.

“He was at the game and he was with his partner,” said colleague Kathie Hunt.

At Century Link Friday night Wolff posted on Facebook “cheap seats, great match.” Hours later, while leaving the game, the couple is brutally attacked at the corner of 3rd Ave S and South Jackson Street.

“The randomness of it is just outrageous,” said Hunt.

Out of nowhere a man stabbed Ito in the torso repeatedly. Wolff jumped in to protect her. Chris Lundgren who works in Pioneer Square says the details are horrible.

“When he stepped in, the guy with the knife went insane and stabbed him in the vicinity of 40 times that is what I heard,” said Lundgren.

Police say the 44 year-old suspect was unprovoked and had mental issues.

“Then he stood there with the knife waiting for the cops to show up,” said Lundgren.


Photo courtesy of Daniel Berman/Bermanphotos.com

When police arrived, the attacker was still standing there with the couple on the ground.

“It doesn’t surprise me that he was defending someone he cared about,” said Hunt.

But Hunt is stunned that Wolff won’t teach another day at Shoreline Community College.

“The loss is just incredible to us,” said Hunt.

People who live and work in Pioneer Square cannot believe the violence.

“We don’t get a lot of violence but when we do it is extreme,” said Lundgren.

Just a few blocks away from Friday’s double stabbing, 21 year-old was shot and killed in a random shooting last year.  The person who killed Nicole Westbrook is still out there.

Also just this March a man is shot in the face on 3rd Ave S and Washington. Lundgren believes much of the violence stems from the mentally ill.

“I would gladly pay a dollar extra in taxes every week if I knew there was a somewhere these people could be checking in and possibly get medicated,” said Lundgren.

“I think it’s too horrifying to think of the blood and details that is not going to help us heal,” said Hunt.

Friends say they want Wolff remembered by how he lived not how he died.

“Always carried positive energy into a room he lit it up when he walked in, he was very passionate,” said Hunt.

The professor was the chair of the English department and had worked at Shoreline Community college for 17 years. His girlfriend was in stable condition at Harborview on Saturday night. The suspect is scheduled for a bail hearing Monday afternoon.

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  • Mr Holmes

    Now see if he would have been carrying a gun and had a little training well you know what happens when you bring a knife to a gun fight. If that was me prootecting the one i love believe it would have went down a bit different then that tnen the tax payers should thank me fo saving hundreds of thousands of dollars

    • CCC

      You are correct a weapon might have turned the tide. However, he went to the Sounders game. They do not even allow a knife or a club to be brought in. How are defenseless citizens, not allowed to arm themselves, going to protect themselves? I blame the system for allowing these people to roam free and the lack of police in the area. The areas- the intersections directly around the stadium are littered with cops, but the outlying areas, where people park, eat, drink, and find transit- there is often very little police presence. I often only feel safe after events because of the sheer number of people, but this too, is a false sense of security.

  • Guest

    Mr Holmes the liberals in Seattle are just as insane as this guy was so you would probably be arrested. Funny thing is the cops could do some good work down there and make Seattle a place that I'd want to visits but every time they do anything the libtards cry foul. The libtards do nothing but feel sorry for the criminals.

  • Reader

    I just love reading how many John McClanes there always are…"if, I'd been there…hippity bloo blah." Tax payer rhetoric (look up what rhetoric means), not even what taxes are, or what they do. And c'mon, "protecting the one I love" blaming the victim is so much better than feeling sorry for criminals, this argument is two sides of the same coin. Perhaps the answer is a bit more complex and complicated (yes, they're two separate things) then "it's liberals fault," or, "conservatives" fault, or "more trigger-happy cops are needed." Maybe there's a dynamic that most people are unaware of who do not live in, or have grown up in, a place where violence is a constant. Being a fat, scared, over-caffeinated white guy in the 'burbs with 10 guns is not qualification to know about something

  • jeff

    Seattle and the bureaucrats will keep ignoring the obvious. Nothing will be done about druggies pushing their drugs, the mentally disturbed on the streets, and the disgusting homeless thieves on the streets.

  • Kit

    Public safety should be issue number one in the mayors race. Citizens attending events in the pioneer square area should be safe inside the stadiums and walking in the surrounding area. The police need to sweep the neighborhood daily and confront everyone loitering. We have people living like rats in the south Seattle industrial district and under the Convention Center/Freeway park of all places.

  • esco

    Mr. Wolff died a hero and that should be taken into account. It takes a special kind of person to jump into a risky situation like that, not many folk would have done that.