Deadly machete attack stuns US neighbourhood

2015-03-19 21:43


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New Bern - A frantic and bloodied mother whose three young sons were killed in a machete attack jumped from an upstairs window and ran across the street for help, according to neighbours.

A couple, who, like the suspect and victims, were Burmese refugees, was startled on Tuesday night by pounding on their door by the mother. They said she was bleeding from a wound in her back and asking for help.

"We were scared," said A Bu, who took in the mother and a surviving daughter while they waited for police to arrive.

The suspect, identified as 18-year-old Eh Lar Doh Htoo, attacked the family in their home on Tuesday night. The brothers, ages 1, 5 and 12, were killed, police said.

New Bern Police Lieutenant Ronda Allen confirmed on Thursday that a machete was used in the attack. She said the father of the children was away from the house at work during the attack.

When officers arrived, he was still holding the weapon, New Bern Police Chief Toussaint Summers Jr told The Associated Press.

Htoo also wounded the brothers' mother and their 14-year-old sister. Police said they don't know a motive for the attack and a language barrier hampered their investigation.

The sounds of screaming and dogs barking, followed by police sirens, awakened several neighbours who live in what they describe as a normally quiet neighbourhood. The diverse neighbourhood includes several families of Burmese refugees.

Htoo was charged with three counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. Police said they don't know whether he has an attorney.

New Bern is a coastal town and home to about 1 900 Burmese refugees, who resettled in the area after fleeing persecution from the country once called Burma, now known as Myanmar.

"Anytime this happens in any community, any part of town, it's surprising," the police chief said.

The stabbings happened on a street of about 10 homes that face a railroad track and several dilapidated commercial buildings.

About 23:00 on Tuesday, officers were called there to a report of a person with a knife. They entered the home and found two dead boys. A third died at a hospital.

Police did not release the victims' names.

Another neighbour said the suspect had scared his family by knocking on their door several times in the middle of the night.

"He's crazy," neighbour Ner Wah said on Wednesday. "I told my wife: 'Be careful. Don't answer the door.'"

Wah said that like him, Htoo was a member of the Karen ethnic group, an oppressed people whose language has been banned back home.

Htoo once came to Wah's house during the day to ask him to help translate documents, but Wah said they weren't friends.

"We felt very scared of him," Wah said.

Htoo's first court appearance was scheduled for Friday.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.