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.
Related: Vintage Kriminalfotos from the New York Daily News
13 PHOTOS  Old Kriminalfotos from the Daily News
UNITED STATES – 3. MARCH: Gestured Slayer angry. William Patrick Farrell screams as he makes his way to fotog to take his picture in the van outside the police headquarters. The police say that Farrell, 25, the father of two children, imitated the murder of NYU student Ann Yarrow last month. Farrell, a patient twice in Bellevue Hosipital, was again ordered to Bellevue. (Photo by Al Amy / NY Daily News Archive About Getty Images)
UNITED STATES – MARCH 25: Leon Liss, Barney Mortillaro, Milton (Shuffles) Goldberg, Louis Liss, Pasquale Chicarelli and gang leader Richard Reese Whittemore (lr. ) in a police unit after being involved in a gem robbery on the W. 48th Street. (Photo from NY Daily News Archive about Getty Images)
UNITED STATES – January 9: Theodore A. Clement in the background a police car after he allegedly shot a man during a poker game. (Photo by Al Amy / NY Daily News Archive About Getty Images)
UNITED STATES – JANUARY 20: Isadore Strauss in jail at police headquarters following his arrest for murder and robbery in connection with Whittemore. (Photo by Paul Levine / NY Daily News Archive about Getty Images)
UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 4: Abe (Kid Twist) Reles (center) in a police mug shot. (Photo from NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES – CIRCA 2000: Shopkeeper Abraham Weissman sees the body of Stickupman, Otis Mims, shot dead during an attempted robbery. (Photo by Gary Kagan / NY Daily News Archive About Getty Images)
UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 1: The mass murderer Harry F. Powers, the Butcher of Clarksburg, tells a detective the details of his grisly murders in Clarksburg, W. Va. (Photo from NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES – OCTOBER 19: Nela Bogacki, aka Nella Bogart, wife of the "Continental Call Girl Ring", was handcuffed by Salema Hontover after she was seized by the FBI Both were to be deported for illegal entry. (Photo by Al Amy / NY Daily News Archive About Getty Images)
UNITED STATES – OCTOBER 25: The Body of Albert Anastasia – The Murder, Inc., a gang hired assassin for organized crime, led in the late 1930s – Located on the floor of the hairdressing salon at the Sheraton Hotel Park, Seventh Avenue and West 55th Street, shortly after being assassinated by two armed men at 10:20 am (Photo from NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES – 20 APRIL: A manipulated LeRoy Luscomb is charged with murdering the first degree of his wife's murder with a stag rifle. His wife is on the bed in the back of the photo. (Photo from NY Daily News Archive about Getty Images)
(Original Caption) As John Kerr of 147 W. 84th Street and Peter Macon of 490 Columbus Avenue, charged today for raiding the West 68th St. Precinct, photographer Phil Grietzer, a New York Daily News photographer, took off his camera. He did not know that the boys had a camera allergy. But he found out when the two, although tied together, started for him. Another photographer who does not suffer from Buck fever got this picture.
UNITED STATES – December 16: Driver and bodyguard Thomas Bilotti lies on the street next to the car after he and the criminal boss Paul Castellano were shot outside the East Side Steak House. (Photo by Thomas Monaster / New York Daily News Archive About Getty Images)
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 ___
San Francisco-based Associated Press writer Juliet Williams contributed to this report.
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