Arrest Made in Fatal Stabbing at McKinley Mall

Victim has been Identified

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Hamburg, NY (WBEN) - UPDATE from Town of Hamburg Police:

Town of Hamburg Police have arrested Keith R. Sparks, 43, of Niagara Falls for the fatal stabbing of Mallicia U. Tipps, 38, at the McKinley Mall yesterday afternoon. Sparks surrendered himself at his Independence Avenue residence at about 10:30 last night. Family and friends interviewed stated that Sparks was an ex-boyfriend of Ms. Tipps. Sparks apparently followed Tipps’ vehicle to the Sears parking lot where she and a friend were going to shop. In an attempt to flee, Tipps and her friend ran into the store where Sparks pursued them and grabbed Tipps and stabbed her several times. First responders arrived in under 5 minutes and worked the unconscious Ms. Tipps for about 15 minutes but she succumbed to her injuries.

Sparks became a suspect after speaking with witnesses, family members and viewing several security camera recordings around the area. With the assistance of Buffalo and Niagara Falls Police Departments, several of Sparks known addresses were checked. Niagara Falls Police located the vehicle used in the attack in the back of the Independence Avenue apartment where Sparks is believed to have resided since this Spring. Sparks subsequently gave himself up to police and was taken into custody and transported to the Town of Hamburg Police Department where he was charged with Murder in the second degree.

An arrest has been made following an extensive search for a suspect in a fatal stabbing inside McKinley Mall in Hamburg.

Police say that Keith Sparks was arrested in Niagara Falls.

The incident happened around 2:00 Wednesday afternoon, when Police say a 36 year old woman was stabbed inside the Sears store. First responders were unable to resuscitate her with CPR.

"There are several witnesses who have given us information, including one who was with the victim," said Hamburg Police Chief Greg Wickett. Wickett said that it is believed the suspect and victim knew each other.

An extensive search followed the incident. Wickett said that Sparks fled by car, and the Erie County Sheriff's Helicopter was used in the search.

The mall remained open while the investigation was underway. 

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