A brutal attack at a Boise apartment complex Saturday night started at a 3-year-old girl's birthday party and ended in the stabbing of nine people, six of whom were children.
Police said a man who had just been forced out of an apartment stabbed all nine with a knife. Authorities said he is Timmy Kinner, 30, of Los Angeles, who has an extensive record involving violent crimes, weapons and drugs in other states. He was arrested and is now in the Ada County Jail.
All nine were refugees from overseas, Boise police said. All nine were hospitalized, and one child was flown to Salt Lake City for medical treatment.
"These are victims who in their past homes have fled violence from Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia," Police Chief Bill Bones said Sunday.
One day earlier, Kinner had been asked to leave the Wylie Street Station Apartments, where he had been staying with a resident. The complex is on Wylie Lane behind a Thriftway Home Center store on State Street southeast of Collister Boulevard.
Wylie Street Station Apartments offers 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 affordable housing.
Kinner had been granted access to an apartment for a few days but was asked by its resident to leave because of his behavior, police said. Kinner returned Saturday night to "exact vengeance," first targeting children, then the adults who interceded to protect them. He was attacking any target available, Bones said.
The victims included the birthday girl, two 4-year-olds and children ages 6, 8 and 12.
Kinner faces nine charges of aggravated battery and six charges of injury to a child, all felonies. He is expected to appear in Ada County court Monday.
At an emotional news conference Sunday, Bones said that when officers arrived at the chaotic scene about 9 p.m. Saturday, bodies were scattered across the apartment complex — in the buildings, in the street and in the walkways.
"This is an attack against those who are most vulnerable, our children," Bones said. "It's untenable, unconscionable and is pure evil in my mind."
"The crime scene, the faces of the parents struggling, the tears coming down their faces, the faces of the children in the hospital beds, will be something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life," Bones said. "And so will every first responder that was there last night."
Bones said there is no specific evidence that the stabbings were a hate crime, though police were still investigating. He said Kinner has not been cooperative with detectives.
His criminal history is lengthy. In 2008, Kinner was indicted in Tennessee for illegal possession of a semi-automatic handgun and distributing 12 grams or more marijuana, according to court records. In that case, he pleaded guilty to the weapons charge and was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison and 500 hours of drug rehabilitation.
In that case, a judge revoked his supervised release multiple times because he committed new crimes. In 2015, while on supervision, he allegedly obstructed a highway, possessed Xanax and marijuana with the intent to sell it, illegally possessed a firearm, and was charged with theft.
He also served time in a Kentucky prison, according to Bones. In April, the St. George, Utah, Police Department arrested Kinner for theft. He had never been arrested in Idaho.
Boise Mayor David Bieter also spoke at the news conference. He said Boise has been recognized as a city that is successful in integrating refugees and immigrants, and this attack does not represent his welcoming city.
"This a chance to reaffirm what we stand for and who we are and those commitments are deep and long-lasting as we move forward," Bieter said.
Megan Schwab, community engagement specialist for the International Rescue Committee in Boise, spoke at the news conference.
"We are shocked and saddened by this senseless attack on members of the Boise refugee community," she said. "The IRC is working with local community members to provide counseling and support to refugees and other members of this community who are shaken by this tragic incident."
Refugee supporters have provided the mother of the child flown to Salt Lake City with a plane ticket so she can be with her child.
Ahmed Abdulridha, a family friend of some the victims, said his wife, Sleena, visited victims in the emergency room Saturday night.
"Around 100 people were in the ER last night to share with this family," Abdulridha told the Statesman. "My community, we share in happiness and sadness."
Abdulridha and neighbors from Wylie Street apartments said the victims include an Iraqi woman and her children, as well as members of a Syrian family.
According to Abdulridha, others who live in the apartments heard a woman screaming and saw people running outside. He said neighbors in the apartment complex are not familiar with Kinner and aren't aware of a motive for the attack.
Boisean Celeste Dimas has started a GoFundMe to support the victims.