5 People Stabbed at Rabbi’s Home in New York State — What to Know

Five people were reportedly stabbed at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York on Saturday night. The alleged motive remains publicly unknown, but the attack tapped into fears of anti-Semitism. Here’s what to know about about the developing case.

1. The Crime

Officers with the Ramapo Police Department said that five people were stabbed at a local home.

“The suspect fled the scene, but he is in custody at this time,” they wrote early Sunday. “This investigation is still ongoing.”

It is being reported that the attack happened at a rabbi’s home. The suspect intruders at the residence Saturday night while victims, were getting together to light candles for Hanukkah, according to The New York Times.

“He started attacking people right away as soon as he came in the door,” Aron Kohn, 65, told the outlet. “We didn’t have time to react at all.” He said the weapon, a large knife, “was about the size of a broomstick.” He said that the attacker left the scene, and attempted to get into the synagogue next door, but the people inside that building seemed to have heard the screams, and locked up.

2. Fears of Anti-Semitism

The suspect’s alleged motive remains unclear, but the incident follows several high-profile alleged anti-Semitic attacks in the region. There’s the recent shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, New Jersey. That’s being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism. There’s also been a spate of hostile incidents in New York City.

When addressing the Rockland County crime, state and city officials spoke to these fears of anti-Semitism.

3. The Suspect 

The alleged attacker was identified as Grafton E. Thomas, 37, according to The Associated Press. He’s reportedly from Greenwood Lake, New York. He is expected to be charged with five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary.

“The suspect who was arrested in conjunction with last night’s multiple stabbing will be arraigned in Ramapo Town Court at 11:30am today,” police said Sunday morning. “There will be no video or audio recording permitted in the courtroom.”

The suspect was reportedly arrested in the 32nd Precinct in New York City.

Note: Updated with the name of the suspect.

[Screengrab via ABC7 NY]

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