A man launched a knife attack on a 3-year-old girl’s birthday party in an Idaho apartment complex Saturday, stabbing six children and three adults.
(Ada County Sheriff’s Office)
A man with an extensive criminal record, is suspected of stabbing nine people, including six children, in a 3-year-old birthday party, authorities said.
Timmy Kinner came late Saturday at the Boise complex, where many refugees resettled families. Kinner, who is not a refugee, focusing on the party that was held a few doors down from the apartment where he had stayed for a short time, police said.
All nine victims were refugees from abroad.
“These are the victims who, in their past, the houses have fled the violence in Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia,” police chief William Bones said Sunday, according to The Idaho Statesman. “The place of the crime, the faces of the parents are struggling, the tears that come down on their faces, the faces of the children in the hospital beds, something that I carry with me for the rest of my life. And so will every first responder that was there last night.”
The victims were 3-year-old-year-old girl and five other children from 4 to 12 years. Three adults who came to their defense were also hurt. Some of them were seriously injured, Bones said.
A resident of the complex had recently met Kinner, who was new to the area and need a place to stay, Bones said.
“I believe that her perception was, ‘Here is a helping hand that I can give in exchange for a helping hand I have received,” Bones said.
The resident asked Kinner to leave Friday, when his behavior became a problem, and he did it quietly, Bones said. The head of the police did not elaborate on his behavior. The woman is not among the victims.
Esrom Habte, 12, and Fathi Mahamoud, 11, were playing in the grass behind their apartment when the attack began. They saw that the suspect was chasing people.
“We saw him, and said, like, bad words and put a child and a grown-up and very hard, and very often,” Esrom said.
The two walked in an apartment and hid in a closet with other children until the police told them that it was safe to come, ” he said.
Some of the stabbing victims were their friends, Fathi said.
Kinner, 30, was arrested near the scene and charged with aggravated battery and injury to a child. Investigators recovered the knife that he was supposed to have been used in a nearby canal, Bones said.
The attack resulted in the most casualties in a single incident in Boise, Police Department history, the chief of police said.
“The place of the crime, the faces of the parents are struggling, the tears that come down on 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, just as any first responder that night,” he said.
The apartment complex is located close to one of Boise’s busier streets, separated from traffic by one of the many irrigation channels that run through the city. On Sunday, colourful bouquets were placed just outside the crime-scene tape.
The residents of the apartments and the rest of the community were “roll up” of the violence, Bones said, and need long-term support of the community.
“This is not something that is more than in the days or weeks that follow. … The level of some of the injuries will be life-changing in a very negative way,” Bones said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report