updated 6/4/2004 9:47:28 AM ET 2004-06-04T13:47:28

A man stabbed five people at a suburban strip mall, killing a 1-year-old girl, before a bystander clubbed him over the head with a flashlight and restrained him until police arrived, authorities and witnesses said.

The 26-year-old suspect in Thursday’s rampage had earlier set fire to the house he shared with his mother, authorities said. His name was not immediately released.

The attack seemed to be random, police said.

“He walked up to somebody in the parking lot, talked to him for a minute, then stabbed him,” deputy police chief Fred Kozik said. “He ran away, walked up to somebody else and stabbed that person, too.”

Baby stabbed three times
According to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, 1-year-old Ashley Hurt was killed in the attack in Midlothian, which is about 20 miles south of Chicago. Her mother and four other people were injured; the injuries were described as not life-threatening.

The attack happened around 5 p.m. when the man ran out of a drug store brandishing what looked like a bowie knife with a 6-inch blade, said a witness, Bob Stahulak.

The man stabbed a woman in the parking lot before he approached a mother and baby as they came out of a nearby store, Stahulak said.

“He stabbed the baby three times in the back,” he said. “People were screaming.”

Teen hit him with flashlight
A man ran out of a nearby hair salon and charged the attacker, hitting him in the head with a flashlight, and tackling him, witnesses said.

“I saw him stab two people and ran over and hit him with this,” said Suparak Rattananarkin, 18, holding a red flashlight.

Authorities said the suspect’s house was not destroyed by the fire, but its windows were boarded up. No one seriously injured in the fire, officials said.

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