I was introduced to the ice-pick style of stabbing when I'd been in the prison less than a month, and a cold, dark, tired November morning. The victim happened to be about two fee away from me. At first, I didn't see the knife, even though it had gone past my head. I just heard a hollow "thwock" as it went through the inmate's shoulder blade and through his lung. Since time had slowed down (along with MAJOR tunnel vision setting in), I had time to think this: "Geez, these guys are always screwing around, punching each other. I wish they'd knock that off, it's hard to know when they're serious and when they're playing."
A mili-second later, when he pulled the blade out (it was about ten inches long, perhaps a bit longer), I thought: "[bleep]! They're not kidding!!!!!! Hey, I'm right here! They're not supposed to do this stuff when I'm standing right here! They're supposed to do this when I'm not around!! He doesn't care that I'm right here, so maybe he's going to kill me, too!"
This moment in time was perhaps the scariest moment of my life. The attacker had a shank that was VERY long, and this guy was built like a pro football linebacker, with arms that were larger around than my legs! I wanted NO PARTS of this dude! I felt as if, at the time, I could have jumped over the Empire State Building with no problem. I reflexively reached behind my hip where I normally carried my Sig P228, to find it was not there, since I was inside the prison. That was one of the most terrible feelings I've ever had, to know I needed someone dead like yeterday, and realizing I had no tools to do it. It was at this point in my life that I realized one thing: I'm very capable of killing another human, no questions asked. When the other guy's trying to kill you, it gets real easy. And I'll confess that I desperately wanted to kill this man so he wouldn't kill me. I wanted nothing worse in my whole life. If I'd had my pistol, I'd have squeezed off a three-round burst into his chest without hesitation. When I hear people talk about, "Gosh, I don't know if I could ever kill anyone", I tell them that it's easy when the other guy's trying to revoke your birth certificate.
The victim was stabbed four times in very quick succession. The blade went through both shoulder blades, penetrated both lungs, grazed his heart, and the inmate didn't realize he had been stabbed until perhaps 30 seconds later when his lungs began to fill with blood! Even though critically wounded, he fought his attacker, running around the food cart that we'd been taking to the kitchen. He picked up a metal lid to a large food container and used it as a shield to fend off further stabs by the linebacker.
We were all alone in the back of the prison, about as far back as one could physically get. No backup. Well, I would have had backup...but the officer that stuck his head out from B-Block Kitchen saw what was happening, and slammed the kitchen door, locking it.
I had no way of alerting other officers that I was in serious trouble (no radio), so I did what I was taught; I blew my whistle three times. Then, three more times. And finally, a final three times. I blew that thing like I was about to marry the son of a bitch.
Now while this was happening, Mr. Linebacker with the samurai sword is coming at me with the knife raised. He stated, "Get the **** away from me!" No problem there. I did as asked. Oddly, what really worried me was not the knife itself, but the fact that it had the other inmate's blood on it, and if I got stuck even a little, I could get whatever disease the victim had.
He kept coming with the knife raised, as if to jockey for a position in which he could stab me. I had my hands up, and kept angling off his line of attack, and away. I changed direction several times to get out of the "line of fire", and it worked! He broke off his attack.
By this time, about twenty other COs were running toward us, and they couldn't see his knife, because he was facing me with it. When he heard them, he turned toward the herd and invited, "Come on, mother-****, y'all want some o' this?"
That was it for them. Every one of them stopped on a dime.
In due time, we surrounded this fellow and convinced him to drop the knife (hey, I wasn't going to tackle his ass and wrestle the knife away from him!).
I was interviewed by s State Trooper a little later, and then went to eat lunch. I did some serious soul-searching that day. I can't believe I actually kept working there. What in the name of hell was wrong with me?!