27-year-old John Cowell has been arrested for the double stabbing that occurred in the evening hours of July 22nd at the MacArthur Station.
The suspect was allegedly waiting on the platform for transportation to arrive when he became aggressive. Unprovoked, he suddenly pulled a knife and began stabbing two bystanders. The bystanders have been identified as sisters Nia and Letifah Wilson. Police are calling the unexpected incident a “prison-style attack” that would have been difficult to prevent because it was seemingly random and sudden.
Nia Wilson was stabbed twice in the neck before Cowell fled the area. The sisters were rushed to a local hospital, but Nia later died from her wounds. Letifah said the suspect was a “maniac,” and she insisted that her sisters had never met the man before.
The suspect was able to evade police temporarily while they helped care for the wounded victims, but authorities later realized Cowell had likely boarded another train in an attempt to flee. Police decided to stop one Richmond-bound train, and they discovered the suspect inside. They arrested the suspect without further incident.
Cowell has an extensive criminal record including multiple violent incidents. Back in 2016, he threatened to kill an employee of a local hospital. In another incident, the suspect threatened a grocery store employee with a knife when the employee tried to stop him from stealing. He was later convicted for robbery and served at least two years in jail before being released on parole around four months ago.