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Outpouring of Community Support for Victims of Boise Knife Attack

People gathered at Boise City Hall on Monday to honor the victims of the mass stabbing. (DieselDemon/Flickr)
People gathered at Boise City Hall on Monday to honor the victims of the mass stabbing. (DieselDemon/Flickr)
July 3, 2018

BOISE, Idaho – The community is showing up in support of the victims of a horrific mass stabbing in Boise that left one three-year-old girl dead.

The knife attack happened on Saturday at the Wylie Street Station Apartments, which is home to many refugees. The Boise Police Department says there's no evidence the attack was motivated by hate.

Fidel Nshombo is the Idaho representative for the Refugee Congress, a national advocacy group, and has been at the apartment complex since the attack. He says people in the complex are shaken because they have never had this type of experience in the United States.

"Most of them, for the length of their time in the U.S. and since becoming part of this community in Boise, they've never seen something like this because they've never seen any act of violence to a small community such as this," he laments.

Nshombo says it's important to note that this attack is not indicative of the vast majority of refugees' experience in Idaho, either. Boise has a long history of resettling refugees. Police say the suspected attacker, Timothy Kinner of Los Angeles, carried out the stabbings after being kicked out of the apartments for his behavior.

On Monday evening, Boise residents gathered at City Hall for a vigil.

On Sunday immediately following the attack, at least 100 people rallied on the street corner in front of the Wylie Street apartments, and more than 200 people attended a prayer gathering at a local mosque that evening.

Nshombo says Boise residents have been stopping by the complex with flowers and water. He says this paints a picture of the welcoming city he knows Boise is.

"It's a really loving community and really, really great that the rest of the community understands this is not just an attack on refugees," he says. "It's an attack on the Idaho community; it's an attack on the Boise community."

The International Rescue Committee is gathering donations to support victims' families.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID