One of the busiest corners of Boston – bustling with tourists, college students, and office workers – became a scene of commotion, crime, and confusion today when four people were stabbed just after lunchtime across from the Omni Parker House hotel.
Police said tensions stemming from a trial at the nearby Suffolk Superior Courthouse spilled onto the sidewalk near the intersection of Tremont and Beacon streets, where knives were drawn shortly before 2 p.m.
Three of those stabbed were in stable condition; one was in critical condition. No arrests were immediately made, said Police Superintendent Bruce Holloway.
One of the victims was found two miles away near Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street.
Police said that victim was being driven to the hospital by a friend when the friend dropped him off.
Blood spattered the sidewalk across from the historic King’s Chapel, drawing camera-wielding onlookers, lawmakers from the State House, and downtown lawyers to the area, which was cordoned off with yellow police tape.
Jessica Reyes, a 20-year-old Suffolk University student, said she saw two of the stabbing victims while she was riding in a car on Tremont Street. She said both men appeared to be in their early to mid-20s. One was on a stretcher, and bleeding heavily from his lap. The other, Reyes said, was walking toward an ambulance on the street and bleeding from his left side.
“He was kind of limping,” Reyes said. “He couldn’t walk that well. He looked really dazed, like he wasn’t really there.”
Reyes said she was shocked to come upon such violence in the middle of the day. “I couldn’t believe that I actually saw something that close to my face,” she said. “It was literally right outside” the car window.
She said bystanders on the street also were also stunned. “They all had their mouths dropped,” Reyes said.
Geoff Michael, verger at King’s Chapel, was greeting tourists to the chapel when he said he heard screaming outside and ran to the street to see police cars racing by. He said several tourists told him that they had seen “kids fighting” on the street.
On Massachusetts Avenue near Boylston, police scrutinized a green Buick and questioned a young man before eventually towing the car away.
People with knowledge of the dispute that led to the stabbings said it stemmed from the murder trial of Kadeem Foreman and Terrell Rainey of Dorchester, who are charged with the May 22, 2010, murder of 24-year-old Toneika Jones.
Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said in a statement that “as with any case involving life-threatening injuries, a homicide prosecutor has been assigned, was at the scene and remains in close contact with Boston Police investigators.”Maria Cramer, and Travis Andersen of the Globe staff, and Globe correspondent Alejandra Matos contributed to this report.