Four people were injured, one critically, in a series of seemingly random stabbings in Maryland on Saturday, police said.

The attacks centered on a shopping center in the unincorporated community of Silver Spring, about 6 miles north of the District of Columbia, shortly after 10:30 a.m., police said in a statement.

Montgomery County Deputy Sheriff Darren Francke characterized the violence as «an unprovoked attack,» according to NBCWashington.

The first stabbing, in which a woman was injured, took place at the Unique Thrift Store, the Montgomery County Police Department said.

A second knife attack, targeting two women and a man, was reported on a nearby street just a minute later, he said.

NBC Washington reported that the women may have been shopping at a nearby garage sale and that the man’s attack, while close, may have been different.

Witnesses gave officers the direction of travel of a suspect, who was confronted at a nearby park, the Montgomery County department said.

«The suspect failed to comply with officers’ orders to drop the knife and lunged at the officer, which caused the officer to shoot the suspect,» the department said.

First aid was rendered, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

Police recovered a weapon described by the Montgomery County department as a large meat cleaver. The shooting will be investigated by a team from the state attorney general.

Of the three women attacked, two were hospitalized and one was said to be in critical condition, police said. Francke said they were all expected to survive.

The male victim suffered «superficial» injuries and was not hospitalized, the Montgomery County department said.

Its Major Crimes Division was investigating any possible motive for the violence.