MONSEY, N.Y. — Police Chief Brad Weidel says the suspect in the Hannukah stabbings north of New York City is in custody and faces five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary. Police identified him as Grafton E. Thomas, of Greenwood Lake, New York. The governor of New York said Sunday that the attack was fueled by intolerance and evidence of a “cancer” in American politics. The stabbings come on the heels of a string of attacks targeting Jews in the region.
A law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the case told CNN on Sunday the suspect was found with "blood all over him."
New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted praise for two NYPD officers for the "keen eye & quick response" in the apprehension of a suspect wanted in the "horrific attack at a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey." Shea tweeted out a photo of two NYPD officers, Radziwon & Mattera.
Five people were stabbed in an attack during a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home in New York. The police chief of the town of Rampo says New York City police have located a vehicle and a possible suspect wanted in connection to the stabbing, the Associated Press reports. No motive for the attack has been immediately provided and the NYPD hasn't confirmed if anyone has been taken into custody as of Sunday morning.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said one person was very seriously wounded in the attack and remained in critical condition. The rabbi's son was also injured. The governor said Sunday that the attack the night before was fueled by intolerance and evidence of a “cancer” in American politics.
As Reuters reports, the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) said on Twitter that the stabbing happened Saturday night in Monsey, New York which is a suburb about 30 miles north of New York City. At least five people were injured and taken to hospitals.
Public records show the rabbi’s home is next door to his congregation. The Ramapo Police Department said in a Facebook post, “The suspect fled the scene, but he is in custody at this time.”
The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council tweeted that a call about a mass stabbing came in shortly before 10 p.m.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter that it is "horrific" and that police will not allow this to "become the new normal."
"We’ll use every tool we have to stop these attacks once and for all," he tweeted.
The New York Times reported the attack was at a home in an area with a large population of ultra-Orthodox Jews, and comes after a surge in anti-Semitic violence in the area. As Reuters reports, around one third of Rockland County is Jewish, which also includes a large portion of Orthodox Jews in secluded communities in the area.
The NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau said it was “closely monitoring the reports of multiple people stabbed at a synagogue" in Rockland County.
The ADL of New York and New Jersey said it was also aware of reports and was on the way to the scene in Monsey.
State Attorney General Letitia James said in a Twitter post that she is also monitoring it, and is "deeply disturbed" by the developing situation.