Complaint: Mukwonago woman says homicidal thoughts led to stabbing of stranger at gas station
MUKWONAGO, Wis. (CBS 58) -- An 18-year-old woman accused of stabbing a stranger at a Mukwonago gas station told police she has had homicidal thoughts in the past and brought a knife to school last year.
Ashlyn Wieczorkowski, 18, is charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide after police say she used an approximately 12" long butcher knife to stab a 59-year-old Illinois man in the chest and hand. Investigators say the woman did not know the man and she seemingly chose him at random.
It happened around 9:15 a.m. Monday, July 15 at the North Star Shell gas station near Highway 83 and Veterans Way.
The victim told police he stopped at the gas station for a soda and was stabbed in the chest by Wieczorkowski as he was walking down an aisle toward the cooler area. When he tried to get out of the store, the man said Wieczorkowki stabbed him again in his left hand. The victim was able to get out of the store and into the parking lot where he received help from other customers and police were called. The criminal complaint says surveillance video from the gas station shows a similar chain of events.
When police spoke with Wieczorkowski, she admitted to stabbing the man and said she did not know him prior to doing so. She told officers she had taken the knife from her home after her family left and walked about four miles to the North Star Shell store. She said she has had suicidal thoughts in the past and that her suicidal thoughts turned to homicidal thoughts. She told investigators she had been seeing a therapist as recently as a week before the incident.
Police say they’re shocked after hearing what happened. They say most stabbings involve two people who know each other. Rarely do they see a case where a random person is chosen and attacked.
“Stabbings are more personal, usually they know the person and it’s more personal. This is more random. It’s very rare,” said Mukwonago Police Chief, Kevin Schmidt.
According to the complaint, Wieczorkowski said she thought there would be less people at North Star Shell so police couldn't apprehend her and she would be able to kill someone. She said she wanted to kill a woman because she thought a woman would be less able to defend herself. The complaint says she told police she stabbed the man because he walked into the aisle where she was. She said she was initially excited, but after it was over thought, "what have I done." Wieczorkowski also told police she wanted to stab others but they were all males and she was the weak one.
The complaint says officers asked Wieczorkowski whether she had accomplished what she wanted to and she replied: "not fully." Officers asked her what "fully" would have been and she said, "that the person died."
Wieczorkowski also told officers about another incident where she was homicidal, saying she brought a knife to her high school in October 2018 and was waiting to stab someone with it in the bathroom. Although she did not stab anyone on that date, she said she told someone about it, and authorities were made aware. She told officers "a voice told her to do it." When officers asked if a voice had told her to stab someone before the incident on July 15, she said she preferred not to answer. Officers were able to confirm that school officials contacted police about the incident in October 2018.
Court papers say after the attack Wieczorkowski messaged someone on a gaming app called Discord, admitting to the stabbing.The app made headlines after it was used in a New York murder case, where the suspect posted explicit photos of a dead 17-year-old girl. Wieczorkowski’s phone is being used as evidence.
“We have the phone now. We sent it to the lab, to be analyzed and downloaded,” said Schmidt.
On Tuesday a Waukesha County judge set Wieczorkowski’s bail at $750,000, and prosecutors believe it’s necessary.
“The state believes the high cash bail is appropriate in this case because this defendant is an extreme risk to public safety,” said prosecutors.
Police say the victim of the stabbing was released from the hospital late Monday night. They say he lost a lot of blood, but luckily the knife did not strike any vital organs.
Wieczorkowski is due back in court next week. If convicted, she could face up to 65 years in prison.