SAN ANTONIO – An attack on employees at a far Northwest Side barbershop is sending shockwaves throughout the community.
During a time when people in that line of work are preparing their shops for reopening Friday, many have been more focused on a different kind of threat—the coronavirus and making sure they keep their customers safe from it.
“Something like this is just so farfetched for us in our industry that when it happens, you just don’t expect it,” said Rachel Nine-Olech.
Nine-Olech works at a hair salon next door to Diesel Barbershop, the business near Bandera Road and Loop 1604 where two employees were stabbed Wednesday afternoon.
San Antonio police arrested Damion Terrell Blue Campbell, 42, a few hours later. An arrest warrant affidavit said investigators found his name in a computer inside the barbershop and he was seen on surveillance video attacking the workers.
The affidavit said the three staff members were inside the shop, preparing it for reopening after Friday’s lifting of a state order that had shut down a number of different businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It says Campbell, at first, asked about making an appointment.
He told staff he had to go outside to retrieve a credit card, but returned with a backpack, gun and knife, then ordered the workers to the back of the shop, the affidavit says.
It says Campbell choked Evan O’Regan, 20, into unconsciousness, then stabbed O’Regan to death.
A second employee also was stabbed but she was able to escape and go to a nearby business for help, the affidavit said.
A third worker escaped through a back door uninjured.
Next door, Nine-Olech said she never knew anything was wrong until police arrived.
“We were here yesterday as management, getting ready to open, just like they were. It could’ve easily been us,” she said.
Thursday morning, Nine-Olech was among several people who dropped off flowers and candles outside the barbershop as a show of sympathy.
She said even though she did not know O’Regan personally, she shares the pain loved ones must be experiencing.
“The hair community is very tight knit,” she said. “Even if you don’t know everyone, you know someone that knows someone.”
What no one seems to know for sure is what prompted the attack.
At the scene Wednesday, Chief William McManus said it appeared to be random.