Timmy Earl Kinner, a 30-year-old Los Angeles man, is accused of attacking nine people, including some refugee families, with a knife at a Boise, Idaho apartment complex. It’s believed six of the victims were children, and that the knife attack unfolded at a 3-year-old’s birthday party.
Tragically, the 3-year-old victim has now died. The child, Ruya Kadir, came to the U.S. two years ago from Ethiopia with her family. The child was described as a girl who loved Disney princesses and dressing up and whose family fled violence.
“The level of some of the injuries will be negative in a life-altering way” for some of the victims, said the police chief, William Bones.
“Preliminary evidence shows the suspect was a temporary resident at the apartment complex on Wylie Ln and State St. until he was asked to leave on Friday. The suspect, Timmy Kinner, is not a refugee,” police said in a news release on July 1, 2018. Jail records show that Kinner is accused of multiple counts of injury to a child and aggravated battery.
The attack, which the police chief described as involving the highest number of people wounded in a single incident in the city’s history, occurred on the evening of June 30, 2018. The police chief said it appeared the attacker struck without provocation.
“Tonight we did have a tragedy occur,” Bones said in a news conference. The mass stabbing occurred at Wylie Street Station Apartments. The victims’ identities were not disclosed.
“I would ask for our community’s hearts to go out as I know they will and for their prayers for the families of everybody that’s involved here,” Bones said.
Boise has long been known as a magnet city for refugees; in fact, a National Geographic article in 2016 called it “Boise, Idaho, A Global Home for Refugees.” According to the City of Boise, the U.S. State Department gave Boise the designation of “a Refugee Resettlement Community.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Victims Included Refugees & Were in Multiple Locations, the Chief Says
The police chief said in an evening news conference that officers received the first call about the attack at 8:46 p.m. Officers were dispatched for a report of a call of a man with a knife who was attacking people at an apartment complex in Boise. Officers arrived in four minutes, the chief said, and they took the suspect into custody at gunpoint almost immediately.
The police chief said the victims are ages 3, 6, 8, 12, and two age 4. The others are adults who intervened to help the children. The chief said that police believe Kinner targeted the birthday party first, and they say that the 3-year-old birthday girl was one of the most seriously injured; all other victims have survived.
“Kinner had been granted by one of the apartment members a place to stay for a few days. Due to his behavior, he’d been asked to leave. Kinner had done so. He returned last night to exact vengeance, not just on those whom he had been with because they were not at the apartment but at any target that was available,” said Boise Police Chief Bones. The chief said that the birthday party was occurring in the complex and “Kinner attacked, targeting the children initially.”
“Obviously this is not just an unusual instance, but it’s just something we don’t see in Boise,” Bones said. “The level of violence which occurred here. Most hard on myself as it is on any officer or first responder is when you see innocents targeted and the suffering that occurs when you see children.”
He said “it doesn’t just tug at your heart strings. It tears your heart apart.”
He said that children “from different continents” were sitting together at a small child’s birthday party when the attack occurred, and he urged people to help the Boise refugee community. According to the chief, the refugees were from Iraq, Syria, and Ethiopia and some had fled violence in their homelands.
The attacker briefly fled the scene before being captured, and multiple officers responded to the scene.
Police found the victims scattered in different locations. Nine victims were located in the apartment and parking lot, according to the chief. Those nine victims have been transported to local emergency rooms.
2. The Chief Called the Attack the Work of a ‘Single Evil Individual’
Four of the victims were suffering from life-threatening injuries, although none had died in the hours immediately after the knife attack, according to Chief Bones.
The suspect is a 30-year-old male.
“The victims do include refugee families at the Wylie Street apartment. The Wylie Street Apartment and our community are reeling from this attack,” said the police chief.
Idaho’s refugee population has varied over the years. In the 2000s, according to Idaho Office for Refugees, “recent arrivals include a large number of individuals from Iraq, Congo, Burma, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.” The refugee population in the state has shifted over the years, beginning mostly with refugees from Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe in the 1980s.
“A large majority of refugees arriving in Idaho are women and children. Some refugees are highly educated while others have never had the opportunity to attend school. Some were freedom fighters or political activists forced into exile from their home countries; others were violently driven away,” the site explains.
In 2016, KTVB-TV reported that Boise had “welcomed in more Syrian refugees than the two largest cities in America: New York and Los Angeles.”
“It’s a single evil individual who attacked people with no provocation that we are aware of. An unknown relationship of any kind. We are investigating that at this time. He’s in custody being interviewed or attempting to be interviewed by detectives,” said Bones. The massive law enforcement response to the scene included Idaho State Police, Boise police, and other agencies.
Tommy Simmons, a reporter for the Idaho Press, wrote on Twitter: “The 9 victims of tonight’s stabbing include members of the refugee community, according to Boise police. Officers have the suspect, a 30-year-old man, in custody and are still uncertain why he targeted these victims. They’re interviewing him now.”
3. Kinner Has a Multi-State Criminal History
Kinner has a theft history from Utah for which he received probation. A Facebook page in his name bears the dollar bill’s all-seeing eye often associated with the Illuminati. According to Bones, he also has crimes for violence and a criminal history in multiple states, having spent time in prison in Kentucky.
On Facebook, he described himself as self-employed and from “Streetsmart High.”
According to the police chief, the community within the apartment complex is tight-knit. “It’s had a devastating effect on the people in it,” he said of the attack. Timothy Kinner has now been charged with a long string of crimes for the knife attack:
Bones said that authorities had no information that the suspect knew any of the victims. The chief urged members of Boise to rally around the refugee community in town.
The age range of the victims “varies dramatically and that’s affected all aspects of the families within the apartment complex,” said the chief.
4. The Suspect Was From Out of State
The police chief said that the suspect “came from out of state” but noted that he did not yet know how long the man had been in Boise, Idaho. The police news release later said Kinner is from Los Angeles, California. He noted that Kinner is “an American,” not a refugee. It’s not clear why Kinner came to Idaho, but the chief said he had no criminal history in that state.
“At this point we haven’t lost anybody, but the injuries are very, very serious. The injuries do vary,” said the chief. He said that Boise has not had any incident before with this many victims in a single attack in the history of the department.
Bones said the community’s hearts go out to the victims.
According to Bones, the suspect discarded the knife as he fled the scene, but authorities retrieved it.
5. People Expressed Concern for the Victims on Social Media
Prayers flowed on social media for the victims. “Everyone keep the victims of the stabbing in Boise in your thoughts tonight💜,” wrote one woman on Twitter. Wrote another, “I’m going to bed with the hope that the victims of tonight’s attack in Boise will be ok. I’m so sad for my community right now.”
Earlier in the day, Boise, as with many other cities throughout the United States, was the scene of a “Families Belong Together” protest at the State Capitol. That protest drew thousands of people, according to The Idaho Statesman.
In 2012, a Housing and Community Development report outlined concerns with finding refugees fair housing in Boise.