A Texas teenager stabbed three people in a Sam's Club store — including a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old — because he thought they were Chinese people spreading the coronavirus, according to the Daily Beast.
The incident occurred at a Midland, Texas, store when 19-year-old Jose Gomez attacked an Asian American family of four at about 7:30 p.m. on March 14. According to the affidavit, a store employee and another customer intervened. The customer was stabbed in the leg and hand, but was able to knock the knife away.
An off-duty Border Patrol agent also stepped in and was able to help restrain Gomez. The agent, Bernie Ramirez, said he initially thought it was a fight over a scarce item. When he saw what was happening, he managed to put Gomez into a chokehold. No one was killed in the attack.
The case was turned over to the FBI, which produced a report that said Gomez admitted that his belief that the family was Chinese motivated his attack.
"The suspect indicated that he stabbed the family because he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with the coronavirus," the report read.
Gomez has been charged with three counts of attempted capital murder and one count of aggravated assault, and is being held on $1 million bond.
In the same report, the FBI warned of an expected increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans as the coronavirus spreads through the United States. From ABC News:
"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 intelligence report, which was compiled 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."