MILL CREEK — Authorities believe an Everett man stabbed an 11-year-old child Wednesday over an insult used by video game players, leaving the child with a partially collapsed lung.
Just before 5 p.m., witnesses reported the man, 29, stabbed the child at the Dollar Tree, 3414 132nd Street SE in Mill Creek, according to police.
The man also tried to stab another child, 13, according to a police report.
In court Thursday, prosecutors reported one of the children called the man an “NPC.” In video games an NPC refers to a “non-playable character.” But an internet meme uses the term as an insult, representing someone who does not think for themselves and has no inner monologue or personality. In 2022, the meme became popular on TikTok.
The man reportedly chased the children into the store, stabbing one with a kitchen knife and trying to stab the other, prosecutors said.
Arriving officers found the wounded child in the back of the store with an employee. He was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett before being transferred to the trauma unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to police.
The child’s condition was unknown Thursday afternoon.
The suspect was sitting outside the store and was not combative with police, according to court papers. Officers arrested him for investigation of two counts of first-degree assault. He has no criminal history.
Officers reportedly found a blue knife sheath in the front pocket of the suspect’s pants. The knife the man was accused of using was about 5 to 6 inches in length.
Everett District Court Judge Anthony Howard set bail at $500,000. On Thursday, the suspect remained in the Snohomish County Jail.