A 71-year-old man has been charged with murder and hate crime for fatally stabbing a six-year-old boy and seriously wounding his 32-year-old mother.
According to Aljazeera, the suspect allegedly singled out the victims because of their faith and as a response to the war between Israel and Palestine.
“Detectives were able to determine that both victims in this brutal attack were targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the on-going Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis,” the Will County Sheriff’s Office in suburban Chicago was reported to have said in a statement on Sunday.
Officers found both victims on Saturday morning at a home roughly 65km southwest of Chicago.
According to an autopsy on Sunday, the sheriff’s office said that the boy, who was pronounced dead at the hospital, was stabbed 26 times with a large military-style knife.
The mother had more than a dozen stab wounds on her body.
She remains hospitalized but is expected to survive.
The suspect, whose identity has not been revealed by the authorities, was found on Saturday, “sitting upright outside on the ground near the driveway of the residence” with a cut on his forehead, police said.
He is in custody and awaiting a court appearance.
Police charged him with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of hate crimes and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Ahmed Rehab, the executive director of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) for the Chicago chapter said in posting on X, “Our hearts are heavy, and our prayers are with the darling boy and his mother.”
The organisation identified the victims as Wadea Al-Fayoume and his mother Hanaan Shahin. — Malaysiaxpress