Police in the United States have charged a 71-year-old man with murder and hate crime for fatally stabbing a six-year-old boy and seriously wounding his 32-year-old mother, alleging he singled out the victims because of their faith and as a response to the war between Israel and Hamas.
“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 said in a statement on Sunday.
Officers found both victims on Saturday morning at a home roughly 65km (40 miles) southwest of Chicago.
The boy, who was pronounced dead at the hospital, was stabbed 26 times with a large military-style knife, according to an autopsy on Sunday, the sheriff’s office said.
The mother had more than a dozen stab wounds on her body. She remained hospitalised on Sunday but was expected to survive.