Local professor killed in random stabbing

SEATTLE - Friends say a random double stabbing that killed a local professor was senseless and horrific.

Troy Wolff, 46, was killed trying to protect his girlfriend from a knife wielding stranger in Pioneer Square Friday night.

Wolff lived life to the fullest and loved sharing it with his girlfriend Kristin Ito.

“He was at the game and he was with his partner,” said colleague Kathie Hunt.

At Century Link Friday night Wolff posted on Facebook “cheap seats, great match.” Hours later, while leaving the game, the couple is brutally attacked at the corner of 3rd Ave S and South Jackson Street.

“The randomness of it is just outrageous,” said Hunt.

Out of nowhere a man stabbed Ito in the torso repeatedly. Wolff jumped in to protect her. Chris Lundgren who works in Pioneer Square says the details are horrible.

“When he stepped in, the guy with the knife went insane and stabbed him in the vicinity of 40 times that is what I heard,” said Lundgren.

Police say the 44 year-old suspect was unprovoked and had mental issues.

“Then he stood there with the knife waiting for the cops to show up,” said Lundgren.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Berman/Bermanphotos.com

When police arrived, the attacker was still standing there with the couple on the ground.

“It doesn’t surprise me that he was defending someone he cared about,” said Hunt.

But Hunt is stunned that Wolff won’t teach another day at Shoreline Community College.

“The loss is just incredible to us,” said Hunt.

People who live and work in Pioneer Square cannot believe the violence.

“We don’t get a lot of violence but when we do it is extreme,” said Lundgren.

Just a few blocks away from Friday’s double stabbing, 21 year-old was shot and killed in a random shooting last year.  The person who killed Nicole Westbrook is still out there.

Also just this March a man is shot in the face on 3rd Ave S and Washington. Lundgren believes much of the violence stems from the mentally ill.

“I would gladly pay a dollar extra in taxes every week if I knew there was a somewhere these people could be checking in and possibly get medicated,” said Lundgren.

“I think it’s too horrifying to think of the blood and details that is not going to help us heal,” said Hunt.

Friends say they want Wolff remembered by how he lived not how he died.

“Always carried positive energy into a room he lit it up when he walked in, he was very passionate,” said Hunt.

The professor was the chair of the English department and had worked at Shoreline Community college for 17 years. His girlfriend was in stable condition at Harborview on Saturday night. The suspect is scheduled for a bail hearing Monday afternoon.