By Anna Giles

SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — The acting Sacramento County executive confirms a county code inspector was stabbed to death during an attack last week.

Witnesses said the suspect was an employee at a restaurant the inspector had visited just minutes before the attack.

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Police said the attack happened in broad daylight last Thursday (1/14) in the parking lot of a shopping center off Fulton Avenue.

Witnesses told CBS13 the code inspector, who’s been identified as Dennis Catanyag, was sitting in his car. The attacker got to him by opening the passenger door and forcing his way inside.

Mohammad Anwaribrah Musallam

Deputies arrested 38-year-old Mohammad Anwaribrah Musallam. He’s accused of attacking two people with a knife.

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Witnesses said Musallam works at a restaurant that had just received a passing inspection from Catanyag. CBS13 talked to the owner there who wasn’t ready to do an interview but said as he tried to stop Mussallam and was stabbed himself.

Neighboring businesses locked their doors for safety and said it seemed like Mussallam had snapped for no reason.

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County officials said Catanyag had been with the Environmental Health Department for 15 years and that “he was a model employee who was dedicated to his family and his job. He had a passion for public service and the health and safety of people in the community.”

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Police are still investigating a possible motive in this attack. The suspect was arrested on a homicide charge.