The Journal Gazette
Thursday, October 21, 2021 1:00 am

Murder charge filed in turnpike stabbing

Associated Press

FREMONT, Ohio – A Wisconsin man was charged with murder Wednesday in what authorities believe was a random knife attack that killed an Indiana motorist and injured another after they had stopped at a travel plaza on the Ohio Turnpike.

The victims were attacked Tuesday in the parking lot, investigators said.

A deputy shot the suspect, Thomas Conner, 51, of Beloit, Wisconsin, after trying to stop him by firing rubber balls, Sandusky County Sheriff Chris Hilton said.

David Diederich, 66, of La Porte, Indiana, was in the parking lot when he was stabbed and died at the scene, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Alan Austin, 53, of Wisconsin was eating in his truck when Conner approached the vehicle, reached through an open window and stabbed him, said Hinton, who was released from a hospital.

A customer, Wayne Howell of Syracuse, Indiana, told the Fremont News-Messenger the suspect was saying things that didn’t make sense and was agitated when people walked away from him.

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