A Muslim man in a Detroit suburb Michigan asked two people at a bus stop if they were Muslim. After they both answered no, some talk ensued, after which he stabbed both of them.
Terrance Lavaton Thomas, 39, who is suspected of the attack, which occurred on Valentine’s Day evening, was arrested by police who found him within minutes of the attack walking in the area carrying two knives, one of which was reported to have been used in the attack.
Local reports say that the man did not know the victims previously. He reportedly made a number of comments about Islam and asked them about their religion just before attacking them.
“[Thomas] was not not happy with [their] answer,” Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins said. Afterwards, “without provocation,” Thomas took out a 3-inch folding knife “and attacked one of them,” he said.
The first victim, a 52-year-old man from Detroit, sustained five stab wounds to the head, neck and back. Another Detroit man, 52, was stabbed in the hand as he tried to stop the attack. Both victims were treated at a hospital and later released with “non-life threatening injuries.”
Thomas was charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder, one count of carrying a concealed weapon with intent and one count of possession of marijuana.
He may also be charged by the state with ethnic intimidation, defined in Michigan as acting “maliciously, and with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.”
In addition, local police contacted the FBI who will investigate whether or not the attack will also be deemed a hate crime, a federal offense.
The attack occurred in Southfield, Michigan at a bus stop located at the Northland Center at 10:30 pm.