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Police: The veterinarian of the army drove to people who thought they were Muslim



SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A veteran of the Iraq war deliberately drove into a group of pedestrians, believing that some of the people were Muslims, the California government said Friday.

injured eight people, including four who remain in the hospital. The most seriously injured is a 13-year-old Sunnyvale girl of South Asian descent who is in a coma with severe brain trauma.

"New evidence shows that the defendant intentionally attacked the victims on the basis of their race and beliefs from the Muslim faith," said Sunnyvale police chief Phan Ngo.

On Friday, peoples briefly appeared in the Supreme Court of the Santa Clara County. He did not file a lawsuit and was detained without bail.

The US Army's former sniper had a post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq, his family said. The People's Advocate, Chuck Smith, said on Friday that the crash was by no means deliberate.

Smith said after the hearing that they do not deny what happened, but that the mental state of his client is the problem.

"He served our land, honorable and admirable, and he led an otherwise guiltless life," Smith said, "so there's no explanation for it other than his ministry, the things he's seen and what's happening to him mentally while serving our country. "

People were on their way to a Bible lesson Tuesday in Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale, when he told investigators that he had deliberately driven into a group of men, women, and children, he said the police. The 13-year-old girl was met with her father and brother, who had minor injuries.

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Jay Boyarsky, senior attorney for Santa Clara, said the charges would be sentenced to life imprisonment. He said that if justified, they will file hate crime crimes.

"There is very frightening and disturbing evidence that at least one or two of these victims were targeted on the basis of the defendant's view of what their race or religion might have been," he said.

Three adults also stay in hospital with injuries, including broken limbs.

The peoples showed no regrets after his car had plowed at high speed into a group of people in a pedestrian crossing, Ngo said.

The witness Don Draper said he had marched to Peoples Auto after his accident, and he murmured over and over: "Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Jesus."

But Ngo said, "He did not behave in any way that would be considered bizarre," if taken into custody. "

Family and friends described the peoples as calm and polite, and expressed their shock His mother, Leevell Peoples of Sacramento, said her son had "a bad episode" with PTSD in 2015, for which he was hospitalized.

Peoples were sent to Iraq in 2005 and 2006. [ThearmyandthepoliceinvestigatedthePTSDreportNgosaid"Thepeopleshadnocriminalrecordandhadaweaponadisassembledandinoperableshotgunwhichwaslocatedinthetrunk"accordingtothepolicechief[19659002] ___

San Francisco-based Associated Press writer Juliet Williams contributed to this report.


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