Police search for man they say fatally stabbed 2 people, including teen

A memorial for Shykia Ward is growing in front of her home where police say Royce Stewart, 36, stabbed her to death.????

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — UPDATE: The suspect has been arrested.

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An accused killer is on the run, charged with the Sunday stabbing deaths of two people including Shykia Ward, a 14-year-old girl.

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Channel 2's Matt Johnson learned that the assailant has a violent criminal history dating back to 1999.

In this case, police say he knew Shykia, the girl that he allegedly killed, but police aren't saying how.

Those who knew the girl say they want him caught.

“For a child to die, that'll hit anybody, especially when you see this child every day,” neighbor Michelle Battle said.

A memorial for Ward is growing in front of her home where police say Royce Stewart, 36, stabbed her to death.

“She's a sweet little girl. No child deserves anything like that,” Battle told Johnson.

Police said Stewart stabbed Shykia and an unidentified man around 9:30 a.m. at the Trinity Walk Apartments directly across from the Decatur Police Department.

Surveillance pictures show Stewart wearing gloves he steals a silver Ford Mustang convertible to leave the scene, police said.


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“Any time a 14-year-old is killed, all of us have children, we're going to do all we can to find Mr. Stewart and bring him into custody,” Sgt. John Bender with the Decatur Police Department said.

Court records show DeKalb County police charged Stewart with murder in 2003 in connection with the death of an 18-year-old at a birthday party. He pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 2004 and served five years in prison.

Back at the apartment complex, neighbors aren't sure what led to the deadly stabbing, but it has caused them to hold their children a little tighter.

“That's why we got to hug our child every day and tell them we love them because you never know when it's our last time seeing them,” Battle said.

The stolen Mustang has a customized Georgia license plate reading 1BARB1E.

Anyone with information on Stewart's whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.

A GoFundMe has been created to help Ward's family. You can learn more, here.