Authorities say 67-year-old Cornell Lockhart attacked the guards, one of whom is speaking out exclusively to Eyewitness News reporter Darla Miles.
"He just backed us up in the corner and started gunning for us," said the 29-year-old victim, who suffered a stab wound to the arm. "He caught me first."
She did not want to be identified. She was treated and released from the hospital, but the second victim -- a 48-year-old woman who was stabbed in the chest and arm -- remains at St. Barnabas Hospital after jumping in front of the knife to save her friend and colleague.
The 29-year-old stands just a little over 5 feet tall, and she was backed into a corner with the blade swinging right at her. The two were attacked at a halfway house near the intersection of Hughes and Tremont avenues in the Tremont section.
"I said to him, 'hey how you doing?'" she said. "And he said, 'I'm OK.' And I was like, 'Well I haven't seen you in a couple days.' And then he just went off."
She said Lockhart then forced his way behind the security desk at the front entrance, where she and her partner were sitting, and started stabbing at them, slicing her in the left arm. She says her partner jumped in to protect her, getting stabbed in the chest and arm in the process.
"She jumped in front of me, and I was able to climb up on the (desk) and climb over, and I was pulling her over," she said. "And as I was pulling her over, some other residents jumped in the mix of it to try to stop it."
Within seconds, NYPD officers were in the lobby.
"They asked him to stop, put the weapon down, several times," she said. "I can't say how many. He didn't, and that's when they just opened fire."
Just three months ago, the NYPD sent out a tweet for help in trying to find Lockhart.
MISSING! HELP & REPOST! Cornell Lockhart -Last seen on 8/26 E Tremont Ave & Hughes wearing the pictured red blazer. Call 911 or 7182993900 pic.twitter.com/ibI9IrefbN— NYPD 48th Precinct (@NYPD48Pct) August 29, 2017
He was a neighborhood fixture, known for singing on the corner and begging for change.
"There was no need to kill him, the man could barely walk," friend Santiago Ramos said.
Some in the neighborhood were critical of the NYPD use of force, despite the fact the entire incident was recorded on body cameras. The footage will be included as part of the investigation.
"He was a good dude," friend Jimmy Adams said. "I think this never should have happened, should have took care of it another way."
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