Man stabs nine people, including six children, at birthday party a day after being evicted from apartment
A man who had been asked to leave an Idaho apartment complex because of bad behavior returned the next day and stabbed nine people, including six children, at a toddler's birthday
Law enforcement authorities reported that a man stabbed nine people, including six children, at a toddler's birthday party after he was asked to leave an Idaho apartment complex for bad behavior the previous day.
On Sunday, Boise Police Chief William Bones informed that the victims included refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Ethiopia. However, there was no evidence to indicate the attack was a hate crime although the assailant was American, investigators said. That being said, it is still one of the numerous possibilities that are currently under probe to determine the reason behind the crime, according to The Associated Press.
Late Saturday, Timmy Kinner visited the complex in Boise, which is known to house quite a few resettled refugee families. Police said that Kinner, who is not a refugee himself, plotted to target the party that was being held a few houses down from the apartment he had stayed in for some time.
Police Chief William Bones said Sunday: “This incident is not a representation of our community but a single evil individual who attacked people without provocation that we are aware of at this time."
Bones further informed that the victims included the three-year-old birthday girl and five of her friends, aged 4 to 12. He said that three adults were also severely wounded after coming to the children's defense.
He said that one of the residents of the complex had recently met Kinner. At the time, he was relatively new to the area and needed a place to stay in.
“I believe her perception was, ‘Here’s a helping hand I can give in return for a helping hand I have been given,’” Bones said.
The police chief asserted that, after Kinner's behavior became a problem, the said resident peacefully asked him to leave the locality. The woman who had the difficult conversation with Kinner was not among the victims. His allegedly "inappropriate" behavior was not further elaborated by Bones.
When the attack commenced, 12-year-old Esrom Hate and 11-year-old Fathi Mahamoud were behind their apartment, playing in the grass. Reportedly, they saw Kinner chasing people at the party.
“We saw him saying, like, bad words and stabbing a kid and a grown-up really hard and a lot of times,” Esrom said.
He further told authorities that he took Fathi and ran into an apartment and hid in a closet with some other children until deputies who responded to the scene told them it was safe to come outside.
“I saw the police cleaning stuff, and then I came outside,” Fathi said. According to him, the stabbing victims included three families, all of them friends.
Immediately after the incident, 30-year-old Kinner was arrested near the scene and charged with aggravated battery and of injury to a child. Bones said the knife he used to attack the partygoers was recovered in a nearby canal by investigative authorities.
The police chief further informed that the attack resulted in the most number of victims ever to be targeted in a single incident in the history of the Boise Police Department.
“The crime scene, the faces of the parents struggling, the tears coming down their faces, the faces of the children in their hospital beds will be something that I carry with me for the rest of my life, as will every first responder that night,” he said.
Separated from the traffic by one of the many irrigation canals that run through Boise, the apartment complex is situated just off of one of the city's busier streets. Nearby residents placed colorful bouquets outside the crime-scene tape on Sunday.
Bones said that residents of the apartments and the rest of the community would need long-term support from their neighbors to move on from the incident. He said that victims, as well as witnesses in the neighborhood, were still "reeling" from the violence.
“This isn’t something that gets over in the days or weeks that follow. The level of some of the injuries will be life-altering in a very negative way,” Bones said.
Dave Bieter, the mayor of Boise, extended his prayers to the injured and their families on Twitter. “Last night’s horrific attack does not represent Boise,” Bieter wrote. “Please join me in praying for the injured and their families. We must come together to condemn this vile act.”
The International Rescue Committee in Boise is working hard to provide temporary housing, counseling, and emotional support to those affected by the attack, said Megan Schwab, who works with the organization.
On Sunday, some of the refugees claimed that the horrifying incident reminded them of traumatic memories of the violence back in their homeland which they had fled. Residents Thado Aip and Ibod Hasn spoke of the terror they left in Somalia and how the blood from the stabbings reminded them of it.