Idaho police say nine people were hospitalized early on Sunday and one man is in custody after a mass stabbing at a Boise apartment complex that is home to many refugee families.
Boise Police Chief Bill Bones said all nine were taken to area hospitals, four of whom had life-threatening injuries.
“At this point we haven’t lost anybody, but as I said the injuries are very serious,” Bones said.
The police did not yet have a suspected motive for the Saturday night attack but said a 30-year-old man was in custody.
“This incident is not a representation of our community but a single evil individual who attacked people without provocation that we are aware of at this time,” Bones said.
He said the attack resulted in the most victims in a single incident in Boise Police Department history. “As you can imagine, the Wylie Street Apartment and our community is reeling from this attack,” he said.
Police received a report of a stabbing at 8:46 p.m., and responded to the apartment complex within four minutes, Bone said. They found victims in the parking lot and inside the apartment complex. Witnesses reported that the suspect had fled, and police arrested the 30-year-old man a short distance away.
Investigators said they did not yet know if the suspect was connected to the victims in any way.
Police did not release the names or ages of the victims, but said their age ranges varied dramatically and it affected all aspects of the families who live at the complex.
Bones said police believe the knife used in the stabbing was discarded by the suspect prior to his arrest, and police searched a nearby canal as well as the areas around the apartment complex.
The apartment complex is just off of one of Boise’s busier streets, separated from the traffic by one of the many irrigation canals that run through the city. Police closed roughly a mile of the road during the initial investigation and later rerouted traffic to the lanes farthest from the complex using flares and barricades.
Early on Sunday morning there were still dozens of police cars and officers at the apartment complex, with yellow evidence markers placed around the parking lot. Officers told some residents of the complex who were trying to go home that they should either find a motel or go to a nearby church for shelter, because the complex wouldn’t be opened to residents before daylight.
Victim witness coordinators and counselors were being made available to the victims, their families and friends and other residents of the apartment complex, Bones said.
“Our hearts go out to the victims who are in the hospital tonight, please keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers,” he said.