Nia Wilson, 18, was stabbed to death in a vicious attack by a white man, identified as John Lee Cowell, on a BART train in Oakland, Calif., late Sunday night. Police haven’t ruled out the possibility that this was a racially motivated act by Cowell, who has been described as a “violent felon.”

john lee cowell nia wilson stabbing death
John Lee Cowell wanted for Nia Wilson stabbing death

Wilson’s older sister, Lahtifa Wilson, was also stabbed at the MacArthur Station in what police officials have said appears to be a “random” attack by a stranger, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Police have launched a manhunt for Cowell, described as 5-foot-8, weighs about 190 pounds, has short, dark hair and a closely cropped beard and mustache, officials said. He is considered dangerous. There area reports that after the stabbing attack, he fled to a parking deck and was later seen wearing different cloths.

Cowell has a criminal history, which includes felony second-degree robbery and a restraining order against him was taken out against him by a Kaiser hospital after he repeatedly harassed and threatened staff members with physical violence.

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