The man accused of having carried out an "unprovoked, unjustified, malicious attack" that became an 1
The search for John Lee Cowell, a 27-year-old on Sunday, after he allegedly stabbed Nia Wilson and 26-year-old Letifah Wilson with a knife, while the sisters trains at the MacArthur BART station in Oakland, California, "BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas said in a message (19659007) Both sisters were stabbed in the neck and Nia died of her injuries, Rojas said.
"It was, in my almost 30 years of police experience, probably one of the most vicious attacks I've seen," he said.
Accord Following a statement by BART, an anonymous tip from a BART passenger led to the arrest of Cowell on Monday night. Cowell was spotted aboard another BART train that was miles away from where the stabbing took place, according to the statement. He was taken into custody without incident. He did not comment.
Cowell was recently released after a second-degree robbery, KRON 4 reports . The court records of the Alameda Court also show various offenses in his records of vandalism, theft and possession of a controlled substance. Rojas said Cowell was a survivor and called him a "violent criminal".
It all started on Sunday night, when Nia Wilson and her sisters did something they did not normally do.
They decided to bring home a BART train to a family meeting, Letifah Wilson said to ABC 7.
When the sisters got off at MacArthur Railway Station, they did not know that they would become victims of what the mayor by Oakland, Libby Schaaf, referred to as a "pointless act of violence". "
" Suddenly we are relocated just to be amazed by a madman, "said Letifah Wilson on Monday, a thick bandage around her neck." She was just yelling my name, "Tifah, Tifah, Tifah , & # 39; and I said: "I have you baby, I have you."
She looked back and said that she saw the attacker standing on the platform "Then he wiped his knife off."  Then Wilson said she was returning her attention to her sister and Nia was putting pressure on Nia's neck with a baby blanket given to her by another person at the station Two BART officers were also at the station at the time the knife was stabbed and they needed "maybe a minute" to get on the platform, said Rojas.
But the attacker had already fled.
"It's more reminiscent of a prison yard attack," Rojas said their attack so fast that, before anyone can really react, the person runs. "
Rojas said police had found the murder weapon at a nearby construction site, adding that surveillance video also showed that the attacker was wearing his clothes in e in the BART parking garage after the alleged stabbing took off.
Dispatcher audio recorded by Broadcastify and received by the East Bay Times reflected the chaotic consequences of the attack.
have two subjects with two cuts, "one man says about loud background noise and screaming people." , , I have another with a cut on my neck. We have two victims. "
" The suspect fled, do we have a description? Ask another voice.
"Negative, what we know now is a white man, that's all we have so far. "A man replies." White man with red hair, "he says when a woman interrupts and says," No blond hair, blond hair. "
In the social media, news of the attack quickly sparked outrage Many call the storming of a hate crime, the Wilson sisters are African-American, and Cowell is white, and until Monday night, Nia Wilson's name was a trendy hashtag on Twitter.
Others, including the Grammy-nominated R & B singer and Oakland native Kehlani, described the attacker as " white racists . "
However, during the Monday afternoon news conference, Rojas police said they have not determined a motive.
"Up to this point we have no information suggest that it is race motivated, but we can not refuse it at this point, "he said.
At the same conference, Daryle Allums, Nia Wilson's godfather, asked the African American community to" get up. "Allums is also the leader of Oakland's "Stop Killing Our Kids Movement."
"We do not know if it was racist, we do not know if it was random, we do not know what it was," Allums said, "Let's get this informati get to know what really happened. Let's find out the right facts, then we can handle this situation.
He added, "We need your help. We do not need to collapse right now and play crazy, rip our city or do something weird.
Following Cowell's arrest, Rojas said the police still could not associate him with any kind of radical group or group of white racists. "
In a statement, Schaaf said it was important to establish the connection to recognize the crime.
"Although investigators currently have no evidence that this tragedy was racially motivated or that the suspect was associated with hate groups, and the fact that his victims were both young African American women, arouses deep pain and noticeable anxiety in all of us who recognize the reality that our country still suffers from a tragic and deeply racist story, "she said.
A vigil at MacArthur Station on Monday night became a demonstration as more than 1,000 people marched their streets calling "No justice, no peace" and bearing signs with Nia Wilson's name, KPIX 5 reported
from the resumption of fears of hate crimes, the attack also raised concerns about the safety of BART passengers. Nia's killing was the third BART-related death in a week, Rojas said.
On Wednesday, Gerald Bisbee, a 51-year-old resident of Pittsburgh, was attacked after verbally disputing with 20-year-old Abdul Bey. Rojas said that Bisbee wore a bloody lip and a small incision less than an eighth of an inch behind his knee. Bisbee was found dead in his home in Pittsburgh on Friday, and an autopsy revealed that he had died of an infection from the cut on his knee.
One day before the Wilson sisters were stabbed, Don Stevens, 47, was "cold." He rang "on the side of his head after quarreling with another person on the train," Rojas said.Stevens died Sunday after he lost his livelihood.
"This is really an anomaly," said Rojas. "This does not happen with BART. It is rare that we have a murder, so of course, if you have three dead, it will be raised to the highest priority. "
Nia's father Ansar Mohammed wants justice for his daughter, he told ABC 7.
I never thought I would go through this," said Mohammed. "This is the worst nightmare of a parent."
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