A large white bandage covers 12 staples on the left side of Sakid Husejnovic’s torso after an ax-wielding man sliced into him late Tuesday night during a rampage that terrorized residents at Garden Apartments on Trent Way.
“I don’t know (him),” Husejnovic said in broken English. “He really crazy guy, no touch, no talk.”
The incident began about 10 p.m. when neighbors heard a man and a woman arguing outside an upstairs apartment in Building D.
Husejnovic was standing on his porch when the man bristled past him and retrieved a large ax – the size of a firefighter’s ax – from a purple van. Husejnovic walked toward the parking lot, asked the man about the ax, and that’s when the man took a swing with the ax, slicing Husejnovic open.
The man then entered Building D and began hitting the downstairs apartment doors with the ax, resident Crystal Hubbard said.
Hubbard was inside her apartment with her three sleeping children just on the other side of the door, which shows seven separate ax marks – one completely penetrated the door.
“I was sitting on the couch, and we heard some banging,” she said. “The only thing I saw was the ax coming through the door.”
Her boyfriend raced to the door to lock it as Hubbard rushed to a back window where she shoved her three kids – ages 2, 6 and 8 – through the open window and ran from the building.
“They didn’t want to go out the window,” Hubbard said. “I pushed them.”
Across the hall from Hubbard, Lonnie and Ruthanne Bowling heard the commotion. When Lonnie Bowling opened the door to see what was going on, the armed man told him in a profane manner to shut his door.
“A man was standing in front of me with an ax. I wasn’t going to argue with him,” Lonnie Bowling said.
As the Bowlings’ door was taking hits from the ax, Lonnie Bowling, who is a double amputee, sat in his wheelchair just on the other side, placing himself as a human shield for his wife and grandson.
“It was spooky as heck,” Ruthanne Bowling said.
At some point, the man left the building and began chasing a teenage boy who was walking through the neighborhood, Hubbard said. That’s when several people who had come outside during the incident chased the man down and took the ax away, Hubbard said. He was injured in the process.
The man, whose name police are withholding pending criminal charges, was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, said Officer Ronnie Ward, spokesman for the Bowling Green Police Department. Hospital officials do not release the condition of patients injured in violent criminal acts.
Police are consulting with the commonwealth attorney’s office to determine how prosecutors want to proceed with criminal charges, Ward said.
The Bowlings, Hubbard and Husejnovic said they had never seen the man before Tuesday night.
“I put my kids in bed with me (last night),” Hubbard said, still visibly shaken this morning. “I even put a chair under the door knob.”