NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A man wielding a machete stabbed two people during an incident Wednesday morning in Newport News.
Neighbors say 26-year-old Gamal Pennyfeather started throwing things out of his apartment window at Maple Point Apartments, just off Warwick Boulevard, on Tuesday night.
Police report they got a call at 1:36 a.m. Wednesday morning, but when they got to his apartment he did not answer the door. They then left a note for apartment management alerting them that police got a complaint.
Then John Turner saw his neighbor with a machete trying to start a fire in the hallway. “Last night he came home, and he was upset throwing things out the window,” Turner said.
“He was upset about something. Lord knows what he was upset about. He was throwing everything out the window, electronics, glass, food, everything he was throwing out.” Turner said Pennyfeather came out angry and set the carpet on fire.
“He was upset. He had a machete in his hand throwing material on the floor,” Turner said. “He lit it, saw the flames, they were this high (about three feet). I went to my apartment, got a bottle of water, ran up the stairs, and put the fire out. We would have had a whole row of fire,” Turner said.
Pennyfeather then ran out of the apartment door, and ran to Jacquelyn Sims’ apartment, knocking on her door. “He said I’m God, and I said ‘Oh God’ and he responded God can’t help you now,” Sims said.
When Sims wouldn’t open the door, police say Pennyfeather attacked the woman who lives upstairs. We asked Sims if she thinks Pennyfeather was trying to kill the woman. “Oh yes. Yes, he just stabbed her, and he cut her on the side, and blood was just pouring from her,” Sims said.
After attacking that resident, he ran back to Sims’ apartment and used the machete to smash Sims’ window, throwing a match into the apartment to try to set it on fire, “Then when he kicked that window in he lit a match, and threw it in the baby’s chair.”
Pennyfeather would also try to attack a letter carrier delivering mail, but she was able to get in her vehicle and escape his pursuit.
Then Pennyfeather ran down the street to a single family home where Isiah Trumble was asleep in his bed.
Isiah’s son, Michael, who was also in the house, says he had to wrestle Pennyfeather off his father to save his father’s life.
“I was in the bathroom. He was in the bedroom, and the dude came in the house, and went there with a machete and tried to kill my dad,” Michael Trumble said. “My dad grabbed the blade and was yelling for help, and holding back the blade is probably what saved his life.”
Michael says he “snatched him and held him until police got here, and took him to jail.” We asked what Pennyfeather said during the attack, “He said he was crazy. He said God sent him here to kill my dad because he has trash in his yard and all kinds of crazy stuff like that.”
Isiah Trumble was taken to the hospital with multiple wounds on both hands, and a wound on his left side.
Pennyfeather was taken into custody, and was found carrying multiple knives and the machete. Court records show Pennyfeather is due in court for an arraignment on several charges: two counts of arson, three counts of burglary, two counts of malicious assault, and two counts of attampted malicious assault.