Hundreds mourn at vigil for victims of birthday party attack

2018-07-03 12:02

A 3-year-old Idaho girl who was stabbed at her birthday party died on Monday, two days after a man invaded the celebration and attacked nine people with a knife, authorities said.

Timmy Kinner is accused of stabbing a group of children and the adults who tried to protect them at the party at an apartment complex that is home to many refugee families.

Word of the child's death came at Kinner's first court appearance, where Ada County Magistrate Judge Russell Comstock told him that he was charged with first-degree murder and other felonies in connection with the Saturday night attack.

Comstock told Kinner he was "an extreme danger to the community" and ordered him held without bond.

Kinner is American, and the victims are members of refugee families from Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia. Boise Police Chief William Bones said the evidence does not suggest the attack was a hate crime.

The suspect had recently stayed at the apartment complex but was asked to leave on Friday over bad behaviour, Bones said.

The 30-year-old appeared in court through closed-circuit video, a common practice for first appearances in Idaho. Wearing a tattered off-white sweatshirt with his arms shackled to his waist, Kinner told the judge he didn't understand the charges or proceedings. He also said he wanted to represent himself.

The judge ordered that he be appointed a public defender anyway.

"I can't explain the charges any more clearly than I just did," he told Kinner.

Three of the stabbing victims were adults, the others children: the 3-year-old girl who died, two 4-year-olds, a 6-year-old, an 8-year-old and a 12-year-old.

If convicted, Kinner could be eligible for execution under Idaho law. Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts said her office has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty, saying those "high-level decisions" are made only after all the facts are in.

'I will never forget seeing my friend getting stabbed'

On Monday evening roughly 1 500 people turned out at a vigil honouring members of refugee families targeted in the stabbing.

People wept, sang and shouted their support for the refugee community, and many brought bouquets of white flowers intended to symbolise peace. By the end of the rally, hundreds of bouquets filled dozens of baskets on the steps of Boise's City Hall.

But community leaders told the crowd that what the survivors really need is money to cover rapidly growing medical bills and space at home to try to overcome the constant sense of unease they've experienced since the attack. Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and others urged community members to do what they can to help.

Signs were dotted throughout the crowd, some reading "love wins" and "we are all immigrants".

Younis Kamel, a 16-year-old who moved to Boise from Iraq, and his 23-year-old sister Zuzu Kamel held up a more poignant sign: "I will never forget seeing my friend getting stabbed in front of me," the sign read. Younis Kamel was at the apartment complex the night of the attack.

Another woman held a sign reading "Justice for Teeba", with a photo of a young child in a hospital bed, a breathing tube obscuring part of his face with half a dozen other tubes and medical devices connected to his body.

Louai Nasri, who also lives in the apartment complex, held up a large poster of a young girl dressed in an ornately embroidered shirt and hat. In the photo she is standing in front of a Disney Princess-themed banner and gesturing to a pink, doll-shaped birthday cake.

The picture is of Roaya, the 3-year-old girl whose birthday party was attacked. Nasri said she was a friend of his son's.


Read more on:    us
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.