“Investigators were able to determine that the two victims of the brutal attack were targeted by the suspect because they were Muslim and because of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East,” the statement said.
US authorities charged a 71-year-old man with manslaughter and hate crimes on Sunday after he allegedly stabbed a Muslim woman and her six-year-old young son near northeast Chicago in an attack that police believe is linked to with the war between Israel and Hamas.
The child, who was stabbed 26 times, died at a hospital, but his mother, 32, is expected to survive, according to a statement from the Will County (Illinois) Sheriff’s Office, which described the attack as “heinous.”
“Investigators were able to determine that the two victims of this barbaric attack were targeted by the suspect because they were Muslim and because of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East involving Hamas and the Israelis,” the statement said, and clarified that the crime was committed around 40 miles west of Chicago.
The sheriff’s office did not release the nationalities of the victims. However, according to the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the child was Palestinian-American.
The woman was able to call 911 (in immediate action) trying to fend off the assailant.
“The assistants found the two victims inside the residence, in a bedroom. The two victims suffered multiple stab wounds to their chests, torsos and upper extremities,” according to the sheriff’s office.
During the autopsy, a military-style serrated knife with a 15 cm blade was removed from the child’s abdomen.
CAIR’s Chicago bureau chief, Ahmed Rehab, told reporters that the shooter knocked on the victims’ door and first tried to strangle the woman, telling her “you Muslims must die,” citing text messages the woman sent to the murdered boy’s father from her hospital bed.
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