A knife-wielding man allegedly allegedly stabbed nine people at a 3-year-old girl’s birthday party in Idaho on Saturday night — and six of the victims are children, PEOPLE confirms.
The violence took place at an apartment complex in Boise. Nobody was killed, but four of the victims have life-threatening injuries, police said in a statement.
The child victims range in age from 3 to 12 years old, according to a police statement. Boise Police Chief Bill Bones said at a Sunday press conference that one of the victims is the 3-year-old whose birthday was being celebrated.
Bones said the suspect, Timothy Kinner, 30, had been staying with a woman in the apartment complex but had been asked to leave Friday because of his behavior.
Kinner left peacefully Friday, but allegedly returned to the complex Saturday to “exact vengeance,” Bones said. He allegedly attacked the children at the birthday party first, and then attacked adults who tried to stop him.
The woman with whom Kinner had been staying was not present at the time of the attack, said Bones, who added that police don’t believe the suspect had a prior relationship with the victims.
“This was an attack against those who are most vulnerable, our children,” said Bones. “It’s untenable, unconscionable and is pure evil in my mind.”
“Lives do remain in danger,” Bones said, adding, “Some of the victims will be forever scarred.”
The victims were all refugees: All them came from Syria, Iraq or Ethiopia.
“They’re victims from their past homes who have fled violence,” said Bones. He added police have no evidence to indicate this was a hate crime.
According to Bones, Kinner allegedly fled the scene on foot but “gave up” when confronted by police and was taken into custody without incident.
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Kinner has been charged with nine counts of aggravated battery and six counts of injury to a child, Bones said.
He is being held in Ada County Jail. Jail records do not list an attorney who might comment on his behalf.
Bones said Kinner, of Los Angeles, has “an extensive criminal record spanning multiple states,” including for violent crimes and crimes involving drug and alcohol abuse.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter posted a statement to Twitter, saying, “Last night’s horrific attack does not represent Boise. Please join me in praying for the injured and their families. We must come together and condemn this vile act.”
A candlelight vigil honoring the victims will take place in downtown Boise at 6 p.m. tonight, according to police.
Boise authorities encourage those wanting to support the victims and their families to visit:
• The International Rescue Committee (IRC) website: https://www.rescue.org/united-states/boise-id
• The Boise IRC Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IRCboise/
• Agency for New Americans http://www.anaidaho.org/