A birthday party for a 3-year-old at a Boise, Idaho apartment complex was disrupted last evening when 9 of those present, 6 of them children, were stabbed in what police are calling a random attack. Four of the victims sustained injuries that are being described as life-threatening.
ABC News reports that the victims were all refugees who had fled violence in Syria, Iraq, and Ethiopia. The would-be killer, identified as 30-year-old Timothy Kinner, of Los Angeles had returned to the building last night to settle a score with a tenant with whom he had been staying until he had become disruptive and he was asked to leave. When he found no one home at the apartment where he had been living, he decided the apartment a few doors down where there noisy of gaiety and celebration would suffice.
His victims included two 4-year-olds, a 6-year-old, an 8-year-old, a 12-year-old, and three adults who were stabbed when they tried to intervene.
Kinner has a criminal record in multiple states and has served time in prison. He is now in police custody. The victims were taken to an area hospital, except for the most seriously injured, a child, who was flown to a Salt Lake City trauma center for treatment.
The article notes that, as part of former President Barack Obama’s 2012 refugee resettlement program, Boise has become a magnet for refugees from far-flung parts of the world.
Police are ruling out calling this a hate crime, claiming Kinner’s motive “pure and evil vengeance.”
Boise’s mayor, Dave Bieter, released a statement last night reading:
Our city has long stood as a welcoming city — a place of safety and kindness for those fleeing violence and oppression in their homelands. The senseless acts of one disturbed person does not change that. As Boiseans, we come together not only to condemn this vile act, but also to embrace those among us seeking refuge from tyranny, suffering and war. It is who we are and who we will continue to be.