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Suspect ID’d in latest Bay Area transit violence; funeral of the victim of the individual attack

Police say Solomon Espinosa, 27, is being sought in connection with the slashings of two men aboard a BART train Friday night.

(Bay Area Rapid Transit)

Just a few hours after the San Francisco Bay Area community bid a final farewell to a woman who was fatal at a BART station last month, police identified a suspect in connection with the recent acts of violence at the same station.

The police said that they are looking for Solomon Espinosa, 27, in connection with the slashings of two men Friday night at the BART system’s MacArthur station in Oakland.

It is the same station where Nia Wilson, 18, whose funeral drew about 200 mourners earlier in the day was fatal in a non-related attack July 22 while waiting for a train with her sister.

Friday night slashings followed an altercation on board a Richmond-bound train at the station, the East Bay Times reported.

Two injured in twist to board a Richmond-bound BART train https://t.co/m8Xh4Srq34

— East Bay Times (@EastBayTimes) August 4, 2018

“We don’t know if it was random. We don’t think they knew each other,” BART spokeswoman Anna Duckworth told the newspaper.

Solomon Espinosa, 27, wanted by @SFBART police in the attack on the MacArthur Station in Oakland that injured 2 men. An injury received to his arm, the other a laceration to the face pic.twitter.com/IQkuazicXZ

— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) August 4, 2018

The victims injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, the Bay Area, FOX 2 reported.

“Someone who is a cut to the arm and the second got a cut on his cheek,” BART Deputy police chief Lance Haight told the East Bay Times.

Espinosa has a criminal record and is considered to be a transient, FOX 2 reported. BART surveillance cameras recorded the attacks, the report said.

Earlier in the day, friends and family filed ijnto Acts Full Gospel Church in Oakland to remember Nia Wilson, whose stabbing death drew international attention.

“Oh my God, she is really gone.”

– Mourners at the funeral of Nia Wilson, 18.

“Oh my God, she is really gone,” mourners sobbed as they approached Wilson’s white coffin, the East Bay Times reported.

THE CELEBRATE LIFE. Loved ones, community members, and civic leaders honor Nia Wilson, stabbed in unprovoked attack on @SFBART station and also call for justice. VIDEO: https://t.co/h6gnHlKGv4 pic.twitter.com/kQQ7uU9oME

— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) August 4, 2018

The unprovoked attack against Wilson, and her sister Latifa has garnered sympathy from around the world. Mourners on Friday to remember Wilson lovingly, her musical talents and her aspirations to become a paramedic or join the military.

Wilson’s sister, Latifa, broke down in tears as she read a poem about her sister.

“Baby girl, shine bright and big sister, we promise to go to court for you,” she said. “I love you.”

“Baby girl, shine bright and big sister, we promise to go to court for you. I love you.”

– Latifa Wilson, the sister of stabbing victim Nia Wilson

John Cowell, a 27-year-old parolee, is charged with murder and attempted murder in the July 22, stitch.

Prosecutors say they will investigate whether the incident was motivated by racial hatred. Cowell is white, and the sisters are black.

Wilson’s family plans to sue the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) for death by negligence for not providing sufficient security at stations and on trains, where violent crime increased, their lawyer, Robert Arns, said.

California Department of Justice figures show violent crime has risen 69 percent in the BART system in the course of the last decade, despite a decline of 8 percent in California in the same time.

The agency is strengthening its response to fare evasion, and has installed 4,000 cameras-including on each train, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said. “We are grateful that the suspect is in provisional detention, due in large part to our surveillance system,” said Trost.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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