FBI calling stabbing at Midland Sam's a hate crime
An FBI report obtained by ABC News says the stabbing of three Chinese-Americans at the Sam's in Midland was a hate crime.
The document detailed the incident in which "three Asian American family members, including a 2-year-old and 6-year-old, were stabbed … The suspect indicated that he stabbed the family because he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with the coronavirus."
The FBI is warning that there's an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans as the coronavirus crisis continues to grow.
"The FBI assesses hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States, due to the spread of coronavirus disease … endangering Asian American communities," according to the report, which was done by the FBI’s Houston office and distributed to local law enforcement agencies across the country.
"The FBI makes this assessment based on the assumption that a portion of the US public will associate COVID-19 with China and Asian American populations."
The 19-year-old who investigators say stabbed and cut the four people at the Midland Sam's Club told police he was attempting to kill a family shopping in the store, according to an arrest affidavit.
Pictures posted on Facebook show that the father and his son were cut very badly across their faces. The son, who is very young, has a cut reaching from behind his ear all the way across to his eye.
Police say Jose Gomez also stabbed a Sam's employee in the leg when he tried to stop Gomez. His hand was also cut up as he tried to get the knife away from Gomez, according to the affidavit.
The worker and an off-duty Border Patrol Agent were able to get the knife out of Gomez's hand and hold him until Midland Police arrived.
Gomez is charged with three counts of attempted capital murder and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.