Who is Khaled Awad? Brighton man, 24, stabs Rabbi Shlomo Noginski in suspected 'hate crime'
Awad has currently been arraigned on assault charges, but could face further charges as Boston PD opens civil rights investigation
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: Khaled Awad, 24, has been arraigned on assault charges after he brutally stabbed a rabbi in Boston on July 1. Awad is also facing a possible hate crime charge after the DA confirmed that the Boston Police Department was opening a civil rights investigation into the case.
In the aftermath of race rhetoric on Covid-19, hate crimes have surged in the US. Especially in 2021, numerous Asian Americans have been assaulted and even killed as the Republican Party promotes the Wuhan "lab leak" theory also endorsed by former president Donald Trump. In April, Daniel Negroni was charged with a hate crime after calling a woman "Coronavirus Asian". Robert Aaron Long's massage parlor shooting spree was also considered to be a hate crime, but investigations are still ongoing. However, they aren't the only groups being targeted. In June, a Muslim family was mowed down in Ontario, Canada, by a pickup truck driver.
Shlomo Noginksi - the rabbi stabbed in Boston was allegedly targeted because of his faith. Noginksi was stabbed eight times (Graphic content) and was rushed to the hospital for treatment. Here's everything we know about the attacker and the latest updates from the Boston PD.
Who is Khaled Awad?
Awad is believed to be from Egypt and has been living in the US for four years. The Boston Herald reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also been roped in to investigate the case, which could mean Awad came to the US illegally or is living on an expired visa. During his arrangement, prosecutors confirmed Awad had no criminal records in Massachusetts but was charged in Florida for battery and theft. He currently lives in Brighton, but it is unclear what he does.
Little else is known about Awad, we couldn't find a Facebook or Instagram account in his name. CBS Boston reported that Awad had been sent to a mental health facility in Florida after he was charged. In the Boston stabbing, an assessment found him competent to stand trial. However, his attorney claimed Awad has a history of mental illness and asked for further evaluation. It is unclear if the court has ruled on that as of now.
Massachusetts: Khaled Awad, who stabbed a Chabad Rabbi 8 times yesterday outside a Boston synagogue appeared in court today, he’s charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on a police officer, Rabbi has been released from the hospital pic.twitter.com/vEahgU6mz2— Yiddish News (@YiddishNews) July 2, 2021
Judge Myoung Joun, of the Brighton District Court, oversaw Awad's arraignment on July 2. He was arraigned on seven counts and ordered to be held without bail pending a July 8 hearing. That hearing will take place to see if Awad can be released, or if he still presents a danger to the public.
He was arrested shortly after stabbing Noginksi outside a Jewish day school. According to reports, Awad approached Noginski with a gun and told him to get into the school's van. Noginksi then ran away and Awad gave chase. On catching up with the rabbi, Awad stabbed him several times and ran away. He was confronted in a nearby alleyway by Boston PD, who managed to arrest him without incident. Awad has also been charged with assaulting a police officer after he reportedly kicked an officer while being taken in a transport vehicle for booking.
Noginksi was rushed to St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center where he had to undergo surgery. He has now been released and is expected to make a full recovery. The rabbi was stabbed multiple times in the Brighton Common park at Chestnut and Washington streets.
A motive for the attack is yet to be ascertained, but Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins has not ruled out hate crime. On July 3, she said, "I think people don’t believe there is a rise in antisemitism and it’s very, very real." She added, "It is important that we understand what the motives of this hate, of this violence are. An investigation is underway to determine whether this is a hate crime or not, and we will get the answers we seek."
Rollins said the investigation was being conducted jointly by Suffolk County, and Boston PD's civil rights units. The announcement came shortly after Jewish leaders held a vigil for Noginksi, and called for the case to be investigated as a hate crime. Their calls gained credibility after support from the civil rights group Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
This remains an active and ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information is urged to contact District D-14 Detectives at 617-343-4256. Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).
To those who find themselves in need of emotional support or simply needing to talk to someone about distressing events in the community, the Boston Neighborhood Trauma Team (NTT) provides free, private support 24/7 at (617) 431-0125 or by visiting BPHC.org/trauma