27-year-old man sought in deadly stabbing at BART station

27-year-old man sought in deadly stabbing at BART station

In this photo released Monday, July 23, 2018, by Bay Area Rapid Transit is John Lee Cowell, a suspect wanted in the stabbings of two women at a BART station in Oakland, Calif.

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

BART Police Chief Carolos Rojas told reporters Monday night that Cowell had no previous interactions with the sisters before he came behind them, swiftly stabbing Nia twice in the neck before turning the knife on Letifah in what he described as a "prison-yard type of attack".

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

In addition to serving time for a 2016 robbery in Contra Costa County, Cowell had prior arrests in Alameda County, as well as warrants out for his arrest, the East Bay Times reported. He wasn't carrying a weapon, authorities said.

According to CBS, Rojas was not able to confirm if the attack was based on racial hostility, but is considering all options in the investigation.

The hunt for a man police say killed an 18-year-old woman in an unprovoked stabbing in the San Francisco Bay Area has ended where it began: In a train station.

Nia Wilson, 18, was killed after she and her sister were both stabbed in the neck while changing trains on Sunday night in Oakland. Police recovered the knife at a nearby construction site and are searching for Cowell.

Nia and Lahtifa Wilson's other sister, Malika Harris, was also present when her sisters was stabbed but was not injured herself.

"All of a sudden we transfer just to get blindsided by a maniac, for what I don't know", said Wilson.

The man said he saw one woman bleeding from the neck and "poking" another victim.

"It's nothing imaginable, seeing your child on the BART platform with a yellow tarp over her body", Muhammad said Monday evening.

18-year-old Nia Wilson takes shape outside Bay Area Rapid Transits Mac Arthur Station
Lorin Eleni Gill AP

'I never imagined myself going through nothing like this, ' he said.

All Nia's father, Ansar Mohammed, wants is justice for his daughter, he told ABC 7.

Surveillance video on the train and at the station's platform showed Cowell had been riding the same auto as the sisters Sunday, but they didn't interact, Rojas said.

Investigators late Monday were still seeking a motive in the horrific attack.

"We gotta talk about Black girls, and Black women, and Black babies", Brooks said. Wilson says she was also hurting because Cowell had stabbed her after stabbing Nia.

Both victims are black and the suspect is white.

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.

Rojas said video surveillance and witness statements indicate that Cowell attacked Wilson and her older sister, 26-year-old Lahtifa Wilson, "very quickly" and without provocation. Dozens raised their signs and voices for a vigil at the growing memorial.

According to Twitter user Lauren Wheeler, the Proud Boys "proclaimed a meet-up at Make Westing in downtown Oakland", after news of the protests against Nia Wilson's death spread across social media. Mayor Schaaf acknowledged hate crimes and white supremacists in her address and said they are not welcome in Oakland.

The march continued into the night with demonstrators hanging up a large banner that read "Bay Area Stands Against Hate". They have since been released.

A review of security camera video from the station showed a man punch Stevens in the side of head, Rojas told the station. He was treated at a hospital the next day, but died at home in his bed Friday night because of an infection in the cut on his knee.

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