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Boyfriend charged in fatal stabbing of girlfriend in Hamburg

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The Sears in Hamburg's McKinley Mall was the scene of the fatal stabbing Wednesday.

An arrest has been made in connection with a fatal stabbing Wednesday afternoon at the McKinley Mall in Hamburg.

Town of Hamburg Police report Keith Sparks, 43, is being held for the stabbing, which took place in the Sears store at the mall. Police said Sparks surrendered himself at his Independence Avenue residence in Niagara Falls about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday following a lengthy and intense search.

Sparks has been charged with murder in the second degree and was to be arraigned in Hamburg Town Court Thursday at 10 a.m.

"A male fled the scene and we're trying to collect video and surveillance, etc., to try to identify him," said Hamburg Police Capt. Kevin Trask Wednesday evening.

It was that surveillance, plus interviews of witnesses and family members, that led police to Sparks.

"Family and friends interviewed stated that Sparks was an ex-boyfriend of Ms. Tipps. Sparks apparently followed Tipps’ vehicle to the Sears parking lot, where she and a friend were going to shop," police said in a later statement. "In an attempt to flee, Tipps and her friend ran into the store where Sparks pursued them and grabbed Tipps and stabbed her several times."

Police said first responders arrived in under 5 minutes and worked the unconscious Tipps for about 15 minutes, but Trask said "she succumbed to her injuries."

Trask did not comment on a motive for the stabbing.