Refugee families at a low-income apartment complex were attacked Saturday night by a man who stabbed nine people — more than any other attack in Boise's history, police said. Four of them suffered injuries that police called life-threatening.
A 30-year-old man was quickly taken into custody at gunpoint, police said. All of the victims were taken to a hospital.
Boise Police Chief Bill Bones hinted that some victims may be children: "The age range of the victims varies dramatically, and it's affected all aspects of the families within the apartments," he said.
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The motive for the attack was not immediately known, and neither was the relationship between the suspect and the victims, Bones said at an 11 p.m. news conference. It also was not immediately clear whether all of the victims were refugees.
Police said officers were dispatched at 8:46 p.m. to a report of a man attacking victims with a knife at the Wylie Street Station Apartments, on Wylie Lane behind a Thriftway Home Center store southeast of Collister Boulevard.
Bones said officers were told that the suspect fled north toward State Street, and they located him "almost immediately." They then found victims inside apartments and in the parking lot.
"It's a single, evil individual who attacked people with no provocation that we're aware of," Bones said.
"We haven't had anything involving this amount of victims in a single act in Boise in the history of the department."
Police blockaded State Street near the apartments. State Street was expected to be reopened within a few hours, but Wylie Lane and the apartment complex were likely to remain closed until late Sunday night, Bones said.
Wylie Street Station Apartments offers low-income family rentals under a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program that limits rent payments to 30 percent of a renter's income. It is run by Northwest Real Estate Capital Corp., a Boise nonprofit that specializes in low-income housing.
"It's a very tight-knit community in the apartment complex," Bones said. "I'd ask for our community's hearts to go out, as I know they will. For their prayers for the families."
Victim-witness coordinators and counselors will help victims and witnesses, police said. Some people posted on Facebook that they planned to take flowers to the complex Sunday.