DETECTIVES are investigating whether a 19-year-old Thornton man who allegedly stabbed a relative in the arm and himself in the leg was intending to rob the Henny Penny store at Thornton Shopping Centre last night.
An off-duty Central Hunter police officer noticed the man had a knife and a balaclava stashed in his pants when he entered the store about 7.45pm.
Police said the 19-year-old was asking staff for food and refusing to pay when an older relative approached him and the pair began arguing.
The pair continued arguing as they walked across Taylor Avenue towards Thornton Public School, police said.
They were followed by the off-duty police officer and a security guard who attempted to detain the men.
Police said the 19-year-old man’s older relative, believed to be his father, suffered a cut to his arm during a scuffle.
The 19-year-old received a severe stab wound and when police arrived they found the knife still stuck in his leg.
Both men were taken by ambulance to the John Hunter Hospital.
They were listed in a stable condition last night with non-life threatening injuries.
Police from throughout Central Hunter rushed to the scene after reports the off-duty police officer was being threatened with the knife.
Central Hunter Acting Inspector David Bender said the officer had not been threatened.
No one else was injured in the incident.
Distraught family members of the pair arrived on scene last night to speak with police.
Police were investigating whether the man intended to rob the store and whether he was linked to a white Holden Commodore that was parked outside before the incident.