ALBION — An illegal alien from Honduras was charged with murder for the vicious stabbing death of a shopper in the Wal-Mart parking lot Sunday night, a murder that appeared to be a random act, Orleans County Sheriff Scott Hess said.
Luis A. Rodriguez-Flamenco was arrested after an all-night search by numerous police agencies. He was arraigned in Town Court and committed to Orleans County Jail without bail.
Byham was shopping alone and had just left the store when she was approached by three men as she got to her car about 7 p.m.
‘‘She suffered multiple stab wounds to the torso,’’ Hess said. ‘‘She was shopping by herself and was not with any of the three men.’’
Byham, of Albion, was transported to Medina Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 7:40 p.m.
Several people witnessed the attack and were able to give police a description of the men, who took off running east toward the village of Albion.
Two of the men were caught in separate homes in the village, about 90 minutes after the attack, Hess said.
‘‘We were able to locate them based on information we received,’’ he said.
The two men who were with Flamenco did not actively participate in the murder have not been charged. Hess said the two are illegal immigrants from Mexico and both have been turned over to U.S. Border Patrol.
Hess said it was unclear what the motive was but investigators were looking at the possibility of an altercation inside the store or a robbery.
‘‘There is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that the defendant and the victim knew each other,’’ Hess said. ‘‘Sheriff’s investigators believe that the defendant specifically targeted the victim only after she exited the store and walked towards her car. This appears to be a random act of violence.’’
The woman parked almost directly beneath a light pole in the middle of the parking lot. The pole also contained surveillance cameras, two which are pointed directly where the woman was stabbed.
Police did review the video.
The stabbing happened on a fairly busy Sunday night at Wal-Mart, which is just west of the village of Albion at Route 31 and Gaines Basin Road.
During the hours after the stabbing shoppers came and went, some driving slowly past the site of the stabbing, which was cordoned off with yellow police tape.
To the east a state police helicopter hovered over the area, searching for the third suspect. A Niagara County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit arrived to assisted deputies, along with village of Albion police, Orleans Major Felony Crime Task Force and state troopers.
Police on foot were concentrating on an area east of Wal-Mart.
Patrol cars and unmarked police cars combed the area and parked at several intersections.
Hess said the extra help was ‘‘invaluable’’ and the Wal-Mart officials were cooperative during the investigation.