Six children were attending a birthday party when they were violently stabbed by a former resident of their Idaho apartment complex who then injured three adults who tried to intervene, authorities said.
The victims of Saturday night’s stabbing spree in Boise included members of a refugee community who had fled to the U.S. from Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia to escape violence. Four of the victims’ injuries were described as life-threatening, Boise Police Chief William Bones said at a press conference on Sunday.
Timmy Kinner, 30, of Los Angeles, was arrested shortly after attempting to flee the scene around 8:45 p.m., police said. He had been living at the complex temporarily with another resident but had been asked to leave on Friday because of his behavior, Bones said. It was not immediately clear what had happened to prompt Kinner’s removal from the complex.
When Kinner returned on Saturday, Bones said, he did so with the sole purpose of inflicting revenge on “any target that was available.” There was no evidence indicating the attack was a hate crime, the police chief added, but said investigators would be looking into that possibility given “the nature of the location and the victims.”
“The tragedy is that a 3-year-old little girl was having a birthday party just a few doors away from where Kinner had been staying,” Bones told reporters on Saturday night.
The victims were described as the 3-year-old girl, two 4-year-olds, a 6-year-old, an 8-year-old, a 12-year-old and the three adults. The 3-year-old was flown to Salt Lake City for treatment. Local refugee providers came forward to provide the child’s mother with a plane ticket to be with her, Bones said.
“The crime scene, the faces of the parents with tears streaming down their faces and the faces of children in the hospital are something I will carry with me for the rest of my life, as will every first responder who was there last night,” Bones said, going on to call the attack “pure evil.”
Bones called the attack the single worst that his department has seen.
“We haven’t had anything involving this amount of victims in a single attack in Boise in the history of the department,” Bones said.
Saad Mahamoud, a resident of the apartment complex, told The New York Times on Sunday that his 11-year-old brother had witnessed the entire attack from an apartment window.
“He saw it all,” said Mahamoud, who claimed to have rushed an injured child to the hospital in the aftermath of the attack. “Just this guy grabbing the little kid and stabbing him with a knife then putting him down on the ground then hitting another kid with the knife.”
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter condemned the “vile” stabbing in a Sunday tweet.
“Last night’s horrific attack does not represent Boise,” Bieter wrote.
Kinner is being held without bail on 15 charges, including six counts of injury to a child and nine counts of aggravated battery, jail records showed.
Kinner has a criminal record across several states. Since 2012, he has been convicted of assault, aggravated assault, a weapon offense and unlawful possession of a controlled substance, reported the Times, citing court records.
This story has been updated with new details about Kinner and the attack.
Dominique Mosbergen contributed reporting.