BART Police Arrest Suspect in Fatal Oakland Stabbing

Charlene Craig
July 26, 2018

That train was stopped at the Pleasant Hill station in Walnut Park, northeast of Oakland.

"About 10 minutes later after we got the call, another patron told us the subject got on an Antioch-bound train", he said.

When the sisters got off their train at the MacArthur station, they became the victims of what Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has denounced as a "senseless act of violence".

Police said an officer verified Cowell's probation status and then found drugs in his possession when he searched him.

'I get here, I see all the police and ambulance and I run up the platform, and I see my youngest daughter laying up under a tarp, dead, you know?' BART police officers were already at MacArthur Station when the incident occurred at approximately 9:36 pm and were flagged down about a male suspect on the platform with a knife.

John Cowell

Wilson said she saw the attacker standing by the station stairs calmly wiping blood from his knife as she held her sister. "We don't know what it is", said Daryle Allums, a member of the group Stop Killing Our Children and godfather of Nia Wilson, at the press conference.

Nia Wilson was a beloved daughter, sister, and friend.

Authorities will be releasing additional details about the arrest later Monday evening. "That is an image I'll never forget for the rest of my life. I will demand justice for Nia". "We have to demand the same urgency when it comes to our children and our babies - and we have to keep the pressure on, but this energy can not dissipate until there is justice for our baby".

Surveillance footage showed Cowell fleeing the station through a parking lot and stripping off his clothes there. Rojas said Cowell hasn't been connected to any radical or white supremacist groups, although he added: "We are going to explore all options and all possibilities".

The victims were black and Cowell is white.

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Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said Wednesday that prosecutors are still investigating if suspect John Cowell was motivated by hate.

Letifah, who was also stabbed in the neck, recounted the brutal attack to ABC7.

The suspect attacked the sisters Sunday night as they left a train at the Bay Area Rapid Transit's MacArthur Station in Oakland. "We're asking the African American community to stand down right now". The sisters were celebrating the birthday of Nia's late boyfriend who drowned two years ago, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Cowell was convicted of second-degree robbery and assault with a deadly weapon in 2016, according to the criminal complaint.

Cowell, who has been convicted of felony second-degree robbery charges, battery, and being under the influence of a controlled substance, is still considered armed and unsafe, and anyone who encounters him has been urged to call 911.

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On Monday evening, marchers held a vigil for Wilson that brought almost 1,000 people to downtown Oakland, according to an estimate by the Oakland police.

Audio of dispatchers recorded by Broadcastify and obtained by the East Bay Times reflected the attack's chaotic aftermath.

Beilal Chatila, an Oakland-based lawyer, said he was disappointed how some media outlets portrayed Wilson, referring to an image showing her posing with a gun-shaped phone case instead of all the other pictures "they could have chosen from".

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