Suffolk County District Attorney has launched a civil rights investigation into the attack that left the rabbi stabbed eight times

By Elaine Aradillas
July 05, 2021 03:33 PM
Advertisement
Rabbi Shlomo Noginski
Credit: Rabbi Dan Rodkin

The Suffolk County District Attorney in Massachusetts has launched a civil rights investigation after a rabbi was stabbed eight times last Thursday, public radio station WBUR reports.

Shortly after 1 p.m. that day, Rabbi Shlomo Noginski was standing outside of Jewish Day School in Brighton, Mass., when he was approached by a 24-year-old man with a gun, the station reported.

Noginski's colleague, Rabbi Dan Rodkin, told NBC10 that Noginski was stabbed in the arm and shoulder. But with a black belt in judo, Noginski was able to defend himself and nearby children.

"We are here to send a message to everyone — that we, Boston, are not going to sit back," Rodkin said, according to the station. "We will fight back. We will bring goodness to the world. We'll make sure that we will become better people and we will send a strong message — that evil has no place in America."

Boston Police arrested Khaled Awad, who was charged with with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on an officer, according to WBUR.

He appeared in court last Friday where he pleaded not guilty and was not given bail. Prosecutors said Awad allegedly had a gun and demanded Noginski give him keys to a van, the station reported.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

During a daytime vigil with community leaders, Shira Goodman, the chair of the board of Combined Jewish Philanthropies, a Boston-based nonprofit, speculated the attack was intended to scare the Jewish community — but it wasn't successful.

"The brutal stabbing of Rabbi Shlomo Noginski here yesterday, right here, was an act of hate and darkness," Goodman said. "This attack happened at a school where teachers teach, where children learn and play and frolic, and where parents bring their most precious children."

In a video released by Noginski after he left the hospital, the Russian-born father of 12 told viewers that he was feeling better.

"Yes I'm in pain, but it could have been so much worse. It is also especially important that the assailant encountered me, and I was therefore able to divert his attention from the school and the children," he said, according to CBS Boston. "One message I would like to share with you is that the way to respond to darkness and evil is by increasing in acts of goodness and kindness."