Avery L. Blandin from South Carolina has been charged with murder of his wife, who was fatally stabbed inside a Greenville County Walmart this weekend.
It was reported that while shoppers looked on in horror, store management roped off the area for homicide investigators and continued to operate as usual.
Avery L. Blandin, 46, is accused of killing Lilia Blandin, 38, who worked at the Woodforest Bank inside the discount retail store in Berea.
Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Master Deputy Jenning said police were called to at 1:21 p.m. on Saturday to the Walmart at 6134 White Horse Road, where they found Lilia Blandin with stab wounds.
Lilia Blandin was transported to the hospital but she died shortly after.
Witnesses told deputies they heard a verbal fight between the woman and a male suspect, which escalated to a physical fight.
Shopper Phillip Tallent told local station WYFF4 he was looking for Christmas lights with his family when the horrifying scene unfolded, and he intervened.
Phillip Tallent told the station: “When I looked, I could see a couple of stabbing motions, and I really started to run towards the front (of the store).
“I’ve seen it when [the man] was making a stomping motion at [Lilia Blandin] across her chest and neck area. I picked up the chair and I hit him.”
Phillip Tallent told deputies that a man, identified as Avery Blandin, ran towards the door with several witnesses failing in attempts to stop him.
The witness said the man fled the scene after pulling out a second knife.
“That’s when I let him go because I already seen what he did with the first one, so I wasn’t going to get involved with the next one,” Phillip Tallent said.
Deputies confirmed a male suspect fled the scene. Phillip Tallent told WYFF4 he was able to get the tag number of the car the man got into and gave it to investigators.
Walmart company spokesman Dianna Gee told Greenville’s News Channel 4 the company is assisting with the investigation and had turned over surveillance video footage from the store.
“We did, as requested, close our grocery checkout area to allow the police to do their work and provide some level of privacy, given the circumstances,” Dianna Gee said.
“This was a senseless act of violence, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family during this difficult time.”
Avery Blandin, of Simpsonville, was identified and located after the stabbing when he was involved in a traffic collision.
According to deputies, Avery Blandin was taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital to receive treatment for injuries and will later be taken to Greenville County Detention Center to await a bond hearing on Monday.