LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A Lancaster man attacked family members in a city home late Thursday, fatally stabbing his sister and a niece and critically wounding his nephew, police said.
James M. Sterbinsky, 55, is charged with two counts of homicide and one count of attempted homicide. He is in Lancaster County Prison without bail.
Officers called to the 500 block of High Street found 53-year-old Christine Ross dead from the multiple stab wounds to her arms and chest around 10:30 p.m.
Her daughter, 20-year-old Autumn Ross, had multiple stab wounds to her upper body and died at a hospital.
A 33-year-old man underwent surgery for a stab wound that punctured his lung but was able to identify Sterbinsky, his uncle, as the attacker. He said Sterbinsky stabbed him, his mother and his sister inside 557 High Street, according to the criminal complaint.
Sterbinsky was arrested near the intersection of South Prince and West Vine streets.
Two children in the home safely escaped to a neighbor’s house and are in the care of family members.
It was not immediately clear what led to the stabbings. According to the complaint, a 911 caller reported that a man was chasing adults and children with a “giant kitchen knife.”
Maria Millet said she saw the children running from the home, seemingly trying to escape with their lives.
“That’s what made me call the cops,” Millet said. “You see two little kids and they’re running, falling, desperately getting off the ground.”
Millet said the sight of the kids running is something she’ll never forget.
“Just to see them run with such fear and uncertainty in their eyes, they were just really upset,” Millet said. “These kids were really upset and scared.”