Stabbing suspect driving SUV stolen from double-homicide scene, police say

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Police believe a man shot by an officer Friday after a stabbing in Titusville may have connections to a double homicide that happened in Greenacres the night before.

Zachary Joseph Penna, 24, allegedly stabbed a contractor at Space Coast Regional Airport before he was confronted by a Titusville police officer and K-9.

Photos: Police dog stabbed, suspect shot

Raw: Wounded police dog arrives at vet's office

Raw: Police press conference on incident

When Penna refused to drop his knife the K-9 was released, but the man fought the dog off and stabbed him. He then lunged at Officer John Cantalupo, who fired three shots, hitting Penna at least once in the chest.

The man continued to move toward Cantalupo aggressively and was finally subdued by the officer’s Taser.

The victim of Penna’s alleged initial attack was a contractor at the airport. Cantalupo and a bystander used a tourniquet to stop bleeding from the contractor’s stab wounds. His name was not released.

Investigators believe the attack involving Penna was the culmination of a crime spree that left two people dead in Greenacres Thursday night. The 2011 black Toyota 4Runner found in Penna’s possession was stolen from the Greenacres double-homicide scene, police said.

Penna and the contractor were both taken to the hospital. The victim was seriously injured in the attack, police said. Penna’s condition was not released.

The K-9 stabbed in the attack, a malamute named Jack, was taken to a veterinarian for treatment and is expected to recover from his injuries.

Titusville Police Chief John Lau lauded Cantalupo’s actions in the case.

“I think John Cantalupo was a hero,” he said.


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