These images show John Cowell, who is accused in a deadly stabbing in an Oakland train station Sunday night.
(Bay Area Rapid Transit Police)
The police in Oakland have identified the suspect they believe attacked two sisters with a knife, killing my recording, and the other, at a train station Sunday night.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police released three surveillance video images of the 27-year-old John Cowell, including one that shows him at the McArthur station in north Oakland when the attack occurred.
Murder suspect identified in MacArthur stitches. John Cowell is considered to be dangerous. Call 911 if spotted. RIP Nia Wilson. We bring this suspect to court. Our thoughts are with the family and friends. Details: https://t.co/DEkTJvJnNe pic.twitter.com/igZU2bdel7
— SFBART (@SFBART) July 23, 2018
BART police chief Carlos Rojas described Cowell as a “violent felon currently on parole,” and noted that he had recently been cited for fare evasion. The chief described the attack as “casual” and “vicious” and said that the officials have not determined a motive.
The authorities have not released the victims’ identities, but family members identified them as 18-year-old Nia Wilson, who died, and her sister, the 21-year-old Tashiya Wilson. Ansar Muhammad, who identified himself as the girls’ father, told KTVU that one of his daughters called him, crying hysterically, and told him to get to the MacArthur station.
“I get here and I see the police and the ambulance and I ran to the platform and I see my youngest daughter laying on their tarp, dead,” he told the station through tears. “I want justice for my daughter. I want justice for my daughter. Please, help me get justice for my daughter.”
Ebony Monroe, a cousin of the victims, said she was among several family members who went to the train station Sunday night after hearing about the attack. She said that the Wilson sisters were home in Oakland after celebrating Nia’s late friend’s birthday. He is drowned in a lake two years ago, Monroe said.
Monroe, 24, said her cousin lived in Oakland in high School and loved her family, dancing and make-up.
“She was a beautiful person inside and out, and she had not money,” Monroe said.
A man who was a witness to the attack told the family members of the accused came out of nowhere and split Nia’s throat while she sat down in the train and that he stabbed Tashiya as she tried to stop him, ” she said.
“She died without a reason,” Monroe said. “We want to see justice.”
“The senseless and brutal stabbing of two young women on a BART train, last night has shaken up our community,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “Every parent that saw the father of Nia Wilson grief for his daughter is devastated by this atrocious act.”
Officials closed the station after the attack. The re-opening at 4 pm Monday. KTVU reported that police have recovered the suspected murder weapon from a nearby construction site at about 8 pm Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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