The authorities in California mentioned Monday evening that that they had captured a man who fatally stabbed a younger lady and wounded her sister at an Oakland transit station over the weekend, the most recent of three unrelated homicides at Bay Area transit stations in lower than a week.
In a statement launched earlier on Monday, the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department recognized the stabbing suspect as 27-year-old John Lee Cowell and warned that he “should be considered dangerous.” On Monday evening, the transit service tweeted that the police had taken him into custody on the Pleasant Hill BART station, about 15 miles northeast of the place the stabbing occurred. The authorities didn’t instantly launch any extra particulars in regards to the arrest.
Chief Carlos Rojas of the BART Police Department informed reporters earlier Monday that Mr. Cowell was not too long ago cited for fare evasion. Available court docket information present that Mr. Cowell has dedicated legal and traffic-related offenses, however they don’t element the character of the crimes. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that he was convicted of felony second-degree theft expenses in 2016, and convicted of battery in 2013. The East Bay Times referred to Mr. Cowell as “a transient based in Concord,” Calif., and reported that a hospital as soon as sought a restraining order in opposition to him for allegedly threatening to kill an worker.
The police mentioned that Nia Wilson, 18, and her sister, Lahtifa Wilson, 26, boarded a BART practice at Concord Station on Sunday evening. Mr. Cowell additionally boarded there, and all three received off at MacArthur Station, about three miles north of downtown Oakland. The assault occurred on the platform there, Chief Rojas mentioned. BART law enforcement officials arrived on the scene simply after 9:30 p.m. and located the sisters affected by stab wounds, and Mr. Cowell fled from the station, he mentioned.
Nia Wilson was pronounced lifeless on the scene, the police mentioned; her sister, Lahtifa, was taken to a hospital and was in secure situation as of Monday afternoon, mentioned Alicia Trost, a BART spokeswoman.
“It was, in my close to 30 years of police experience, probably one of the most vicious attacks that I’ve seen,” Chief Rojas mentioned at a information convention.
In a assertion launched Monday, Libby Schaaf, the mayor of Oakland, mentioned the motive for the crime was not recognized.
“The senseless and violent stabbing of two young women on a BART train platform last night has shaken our community,” she mentioned. “Every parent who saw the father of Nia Wilson grieve for his daughter is heartbroken by this horrific act.”
The transit police mentioned the stabbing got here simply a day after a 47-year-old man, Don Stevens, was punched in the pinnacle by a suspect on the Bay Fair Station and fell on the platform, hitting the cement. He was taken to a hospital, the place he later died, the police mentioned. The police haven’t made an arrest in the case.
Separately, a 50-year-old man was assaulted on the Pleasant Hill Station on July 18, the police mentioned. The man, Gerald Bisbee, died from an an infection that resulted from a small lower to his knee. The suspect in the case, Abdul Bey, 20, is in custody, the authorities mentioned.
“One week we can carry two million people and be extremely safe, but what happens in our community bleeds into our system and we have to deal with that too,” Ms. Trost, the BART spokeswoman, mentioned.
Speaking in regards to the deadly stabbing, she acknowledged, “People are saying, ‘Why weren’t there officers there?’”
“There were two officers at that station, but it happened so quick,” she mentioned. “It all took 20 seconds.”
At Monday’s information convention, Daryle Allums, Nia Wilson’s godfather, urged the neighborhood to stay calm and anticipate extra details about the case to emerge.
“They didn’t ask to get cut or stabbed,” he mentioned of the sisters. “Those are baby girls. Those are our children.”
“Our family needs prayer,” he added. “We need support.”