Friday, July 20, update: The International Rescue Committee says it has secured a vacation cabin in McCall for one of the families “to enjoy time away from Boise and the experience before the beginning of the school year.”
Here is the IRC’s Friday update on efforts to help the mass-stabbing victims.
The story below was published Tuesday, July 17, under the headline, “Mass-stabbing victims suffer more than knife wounds: ‘Something is broke inside her.”
Two and a half weeks after a mass stabbing sent six children and three adults to the hospital, most of the victims have been discharged.
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But the attack by a knife-wielding transient at a 3-year-old’s princess-themed birthday party has left scars that will take a very long time to heal.
At least five of the nine victims have been released from St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center or Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, according to a family member and Boise police. Ruya Kadir, the birthday girl, died on July 2 at a Salt Lake City hospital, where she had been airlifted because her injuries were so severe.
Timmy Earl Kinner Jr. is accused of rampaging through Ruya’s party and into residents’ units on June 30, slashing away at victims and chasing terrified children. The attack occurred at the Wylie Street Station Apartments off State Street, where Ethiopian refugees like Ruya’s family and others from Syria and Iraq have been resettled.
Police have said that Kinner was angry and seeking revenge over having been kicked out of an apartment in the complex where he had been staying. He was not targeting refugees or motivated by hate, according to authorities.
One of the stabbing victims, Teba Jalil, age 6, is “doing OK,” said Anmar Lafta, an Iraqi immigrant in Boise who is related to the little girl and four other victims. But “OK” only goes so far. Teba has lost a lot of weight, he said, and is a far different child from the smiling soon-to-be-first grader she was before the attack.
“She’s not back at how she was before,” Lafta said in an interview Tuesday. “Inside her, something is just broke. All of them, not just her. … The way how she talk. The way how she walk. Something is broke inside of her.”
Teba’s 8-year-old brother, Zine, was released from St. Luke’s the day after the attack. Their mother, Miada Jasim, 37, remains in Saint Alphonsus. She had been stabbed in the neck and remains paralyzed on her left side.
Ordeals of a mother and her toddler
Ekhlas Al Khudhur, an Iraqi refugee who was stabbed more than a dozen times, has been released from Saint Alphonsus, Lafta said, but she will return to the hospital at a future date for further surgery. “They just let her out to make her feel better,” he said.
And Al Khudhur’s daughter, 2½-year-old Miral Ghaleb? She’s “OK” too, he said. She’s been discharged from St. Lukes. “She’s kind of stable. She keeps crying, scared.”
Lafta said that the Jalils are staying with him until the International Rescue Committee can arrange for the family to move out of the Wylie Street Station Apartments.
In addition to Lafta’s relatives and Ruya, Kinner is accused of attacking a family of Syrian refugees, Ahmad Manla and two sons, ages 6 and 12. According to Boise police, one of the boys was discharged from St. Luke’s. The family has requested that additional information not be released.
Kinner is a 30-year-old transient with a long criminal record. He has been charged with one count of first degree murder and eight counts of aggravated battery with a use of deadly force enhancement. He is being held without bail and is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 14.
Police said that Kinner’s attack left more victims than any crime in Boise history.
Offers of help keep coming
Julianne Donnelly Tzul, executive director of the International Rescue Committee in Boise, told the Idaho Statesman that
three of the families Kinner is accused of attacking have been moved from the Wylie Street Station Apartments and are living in temporary housing.
“There’s another cluster of folks that have requested relocation,” Donnelly Tzul said Tuesday. “We’re working on getting it for them.”
Donnelly Tzul estimates that 30 organizations in the area have offered to help the families of Wylie Street Station. Every family in the complex – U.S. citizens and refugees alike – has been contacted “to find out what they need and want,” she said.
“The Red Cross is gathering resources from each organization,” she said. “Each of us is navigating with specific families. If this family needs furniture, clothes, food, we’re that interface. All of the victims’ families have been offered counseling. A couple have said they are not ready. A couple were in counseling before” and are continuing.
Donnelly Tzul said several local restaurants have donated proceeds from Thursday’s sales to the victims. Two concerts are being planned by people associated with Treefort Music Fest. Micron employees have launched a campaign. Transitional housing for the victims has been paid for through a grant from Airbnb.
“Last I saw we were looking at either having received or expecting to receive $300,000,” she said. “The medical bills [for the victims] could also be substantial. … $300,000 pales when you look at long-term care for someone who is uninsured.”
And at least one of the hospitalized victims, Donnelly Tzul said,“will not be released anytime soon.”
How IRC says it’s using donations
She said she wants donors to be aware of lengths the IRC is going to to ensure that all donations for the Wylie Street Station victims go to the victims.
Every donation that comes in as part of the campaign on their behalf is carefully coded, she said. None of the money has been used to support the staff member the IRC sent to Boise to help the 22-person local staff assist the stabbing victims.
“None of the money raised from the community is going to IRC,” Donnelly Tzul said. “Not before. Not now. We’re trying to conserve that money for areas of deepest need for the families: medical bills, getting folks moved, first month’s rent and deposit, lost wages.”
Those who still want to donate can go to the IRC website, rescue.org/boise, and give either through the Boise office’s main portal or a special campaign link that has been created for the stabbing victims.
Needed: vacation lodging and gift certificates
And the IRC has a request on behalf of a particular set of victims. The group would like to help this traumatized family of five take “a break from this whole experience” in McCall or Sun Valley, some place with mountains and lots of peace. They’re looking for a cabin or other lodging and some gift certificates to cover meals and other expenses.
“The families are taking different paths in terms of how connected to their community they want to be as they go through healing,” Donnelly Tzul said. “This one family does not want to do large group things with neighbors and friends. They don’t want to have their children relive the experience.”
After all the pain the family has endured, she said, the IRC staff wants their trip “to feel like a vacation.”