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.”
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.
More from Twitter about Nia Wilson’s murder:
After John Cowell stabbed and murdered #NiaWilson and critically injured her sister, he went to a parking deck next door and changed into these clothes.
Stop calling this “random.” This man planned out the murder and targeted two young Black women. He had a plan for this. pic.twitter.com/gUyrr2ZmqJ
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) July 23, 2018
Black woman, #NiaWilson, was randomly targeted & stabbed to death on a train in the Bay area by a white man.
Her father is begging for justice. My heart goes out to the family.
Americans have seen a 25% rise in hate crimes in the age of Trump.
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) July 23, 2018
The murder of #NiaWilson is so disturbing, heartbreaking and infuriating. Praying for her family, for justice and for the quick recovery of her sister Tashiya.
— jaeme 🐉 (@Jas_MariiaBia) July 23, 2018