Terrence Lavaron Thomas, 39, was arrested on Saturday after allegedly stabbing two men at a bus stop near Detroit. Moments earlier, Thomas had asked the victims, who are both in their fifties, if they were Muslim. Both men answered no.
Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins described the attack on Tuesday. He explained that Thomas stabbed the men with a three inch knife after they told him they were not Muslim.
Thomas then reportedly took out a knife and stabbed one man five times. Thomas stabbed the other man in the hand when he tried to stop the attack.
Thomas fled immediately after the attack but was caught minutes later, according to police. Police found that he was carrying two knives and marijuana. Hawkins added, “We are getting indications through my officers that the suspect was somewhat incoherent afterward, and so there's a question about his stability.”
Hawkins did not release any information on Thomas’ motive, but did mention that Thomas was a Muslim and was unhappy that the men denied being Muslim.
Thomas was charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder, one count of carrying a dangerous weapon and one count of a controlled substance. While these are all state charges, police have notified the FBI to determine whether any federal charges will be brought against Thomas.
County prosecutors are also considering charging Thomas with ethnic intimidation. According to The Washington Post, Michigan’s laws define ethnic intimidation as when someone acts, “maliciously, and with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.”
Both victims were released from the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Thomas’ bail is set at $1 million.