Police: Man stabs 9 people at toddler’s birthday party

Fathi Mahamoud, 11, left, Esrom Habte, 12, center, and Thado Aip describe the Saturday night attack that left nine fellow residents of their Boise, Idaho, apartment complex, on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (AP)
Updated 02 July 2018

Police: Man stabs 9 people at toddler’s birthday party

  • The suspect is an American, investigators have not found any evidence that would indicate the attack was a hate crime
  • Refugees from Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia were among the injured

BOISE, Idaho: A man who had been asked to leave an Idaho apartment complex because of bad behavior returned the next day and stabbed nine people, including six children, at a toddler’s birthday party, police said.
Refugees from Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia were among the injured. Boise Police Chief William Bones said Sunday that while the suspect is an American, investigators have not found any evidence that would indicate the attack was a hate crime. Still, Bones said, it is one of several possibilities that remain under investigation.
Timmy Kinner showed up late Saturday at the complex, which houses many resettled refugee families in Boise. Kinner, who is not a refugee, targeted the party that was held a few doors down from the apartment where he had stayed for a short time, police said.
“This incident is not a representation of our community but a single evil individual who attacked people without provocation that we are aware of at this time,” Police Chief William Bones said Sunday.
The victims included the 3-year-old birthday girl and five other children ages 4 to 12. Three adults who came to their defense were also hurt. Some were gravely wounded, Bones said.
A resident of the complex had recently met Kinner, who was new to the area and needed a place to stay, Bones said.
“I believe her perception was, ‘Here’s a helping hand I can give in return for a helping hand I have been given,’” Bones said.
The resident asked Kinner to leave Friday when his behavior became a problem, and he did so peacefully, Bones said. The police chief did not elaborate on his behavior. The woman was not among the victims.
Esrom Habte, 12, and Fathi Mahamoud, 11, were playing in the grass behind their apartment when the attack began. They saw the suspect chasing people.
“We saw him saying, like, bad words and stabbing a kid and a grown-up and really hard and a lot of times,” Esrom said.
The two ran into an apartment and hid in a closet with other children until police told them it was safe to come out, he said.
“I saw the police cleaning stuff, and then I came outside,” Fathi said. He said the stabbing victims included three families, all of them friends.
Kinner, 30, was arrested near the scene and charged with aggravated battery and of injury to a child. Investigators recovered the knife he was believed to have used in a nearby canal, Bones said.
The attack resulted in the most victims in a single incident in Boise Police Department history, the police chief said.
“The crime scene, the faces of the parents struggling, the tears coming down their faces, the faces of the children in their hospital beds will be something that I carry with me for the rest of my life, as will every first responder that night,” he said.
The apartment complex is just off of one of Boise’s busier streets, separated from the traffic by one of the many irrigation canals that run through the city. On Sunday, colorful bouquets had been placed just outside crime-scene tape.
Residents of the apartments and the rest of the community were “reeling” from the violence, Bones said, and will need long-term community support.
“This isn’t something that gets over in the days or weeks that follow. ... The level of the some of the injuries will be life-altering in a very negative way,” Bones said.
Mayor Dave Bieter condemned the stabbings on Twitter.
“Last night’s horrific attack does not represent Boise,” Bieter wrote. “Please join me in praying for the injured and their families. We must come together to condemn this vile act.”
Megan Schwab, who works with the International Rescue Committee in Boise, said the organization was working to provide temporary housing, counseling and other support to those affected by the attack.
For some of the refugees living at the complex, the attack revived traumatic memories of the war and violence they had fled. The blood from the stabbings reminded residents Ibod Hasn and Thado Aip of the terror they left in Somalia, they said on Sunday.
Aip’s son, Fathi Mahamoud, stayed close by her side Sunday, at times sitting on the grass to lean against her legs as he watched the police at the crime scene.


Bad week for Mexico tourism capped by mis-translations

Updated 08 August 2020

Bad week for Mexico tourism capped by mis-translations

  • The snafu has prompted former president Felipe Calderón to write in his Twitter account: “Stop making Mexico look ridiculous!”
  • Local media reports say the errors may have been introduced by a web services supplier angry about not being paid

MEXICO CITY: It has been a bad week for Mexican tourism promotion, and it got worse Friday when the English language version of the country’s tourism website appeared with hilarious mis-translations.
Entire states like Hidalgo and Guerrero apparently got machine translated as “Noble” and “Warrior.”
Worse for the VisitMexico.com site, there was systematic and inexplicable re-invention of the names of some fairly well-known tourist towns. The Caribbean resort of Tulum somehow became “Jumpsuit.” The nearby lagoon of Bacalar, on the Caribbean coast, was switched to the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.
The snafu came one day after the US State Department cited the high number of COVID-19 cases in Mexico for issuing a “do not travel” advisory for the country, its highest level of warning. Hours earlier, the resort of Acapulco was forced to pull “anything goes” tourism ads that showed people partying without masks and the words “there are no rules.”
But the problems at VisitMexico.com drew howls of hilarity — and anger. The Pacific coast resort of Puerto Escondido became “Hidden Port,” a literal translation, and the northern city of Torreon became “Turret,” which is kind of close.
Some name changes were just inexplicable and appeared to have as much to do with invention as simple translation. The central Mexican town of Aculco somehow became “I Blame,” and the northern Gulf coast city of Ciudad Madero became “Log.”
“Stop making Mexico look ridiculous!” former President Felipe Calderón wrote in his Twitter account.
Mexico’s Tourism Department issued a statement apologizing for the apparently out-sourced errors, but then made it sound like something sinister had been involved.
“The Tourism Department expresses its most sincere apologies to the public and users for the effects that have occurred on the website VisitMexico,” the statement said. “Moreover, we make it known that these acts aim to damage the image of the website and the department, and so therefore a criminal complaint has been filed and appropriate legal actions will be taken against those responsible.”
The department did not explain that claim, but local media reported the dispute might involve a web services supplier angry about not being paid.
On Thursday, officials took down a pair of Acapulco video ads touting the faded resort’s reputation as a nightclubbing spot — despite the fact nightclubs are currently closed to enforce social distancing. They said the ads weren’t appropriate during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have stopped being a postcard from the past, today we have changed the rules,” says a narration in one of the videos. “In fact, there are no rules,” says another voice, as people can be seen eating bizarre meals and going out to night clubs. “Eat whatever you want, have fun day and night and into the early morning hours ... find new friends and new loves.”