Man says devil told him to stab woman in Frayser homeless shelter

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man was taken into custody after he told police the devil ordered him to stab a woman multiple times inside a Frayser homeless shelter.

Colby Middlebrook was found while he was walking across the parking lot of Living for Christ Restoration House at 4050 Thomas St. around 10:50 a.m. Sunday.

Police say he had a bloody knife, and blood on his clothes and hands. He also had a small cut on his right hand.

Police then went into the gym in the building and found a victim suffering from multiple stab wounds to her upper body, She was taken to the Regional Medical Center in critical condition.

A witness in the gym said he was sitting next to the victim while she was putting makeup on. The witness said Middlebrook walked up behind the victim and started stabbing her.

While in the police car, the suspect told officers "the devil got into his head and ordered him to kill that lady."

Middlebrook was taken into custody and charged with attempted second-degree murder.

People who know him believe he's schizophrenic.

"You can see the demon in him," said building superintendent Marvin White. "I've known him to be in a room and you would think there's three different people in there speaking in three different voices."

The pastor who runs the shelter didn't want to speak on camera but says Middlebrook had been staying there for about a month.

The church house the homeless, and there's also a sanctuary inside. The pastor says before service Middlebrook had been acting strangely, even hiding his Bible.

Rodell Jones was inside and says church was in service when people started screaming.

"They had church going on. Church people were there," Jones said. "And I seen everybody breaking off running. You know, they shutting the doors inside."

The victim was transported to the hospital in critical condition, but people at the shelter who know her say her condition has been upgraded to "stable" and that she's expected to be OK.