A man attacked and stabbed five people during a Hanukkah celebration at a Rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York.
The attack took place around 10 p.m. Saturday while 50 to 60 people were inside the synagogue attached to the Rabbi’s home.
One person remains in critical condition after suffering multiple head wounds.
“I saw him walking in by the door. I asked who was coming in in the middle of the night with an umbrella. While I was saying that, he pulled it out from the thing and he started to run into the big room,” witness Aron Kohn said of the attack. “I had thrown tables and chairs, that he should get out of here. And the injured guy, he was bleeding here, bleeding in his hand, all over. I ran into the other room to save my life. I saw him running this way, so I ran the other way to save my life. He said something but I could not understand what he said.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the incident on Sunday morning and confirmed that the Rabbi’s son was among the injured. The attacker has been identified as 37-year-old Grafton E. Thomas, who was arrested shortly after the attack as he attempted to escape in his gray Nissan.
Thomas will be arraigned on five counts of attempted murder and burglary charges. Cuomo called the attack “an act of domestic terrorism.’
“It’s a sad and very disturbing morning,” he said. “This is intolerance, meets ignorance, meets illegality. This is an American cancer in the body turning on cell on another.”
The attack is the latest in a string of anti-Semitic violence in the New York metropolitan area. Earlier this month, a 40-year-old Jewish man was punched in the face by an attacker as he walked home in Brooklyn; another man threatened to shoot up the Lubavitch World Headquarters in Crown Heights the same week. There has reportedly been a total of 13 anti-Semitic attacks in New York in December alone.
Senator Chuck Schumer condemned the spate of violence, including the Monsey attack, on Twitter.
Senseless. Prayers go out to everyone involved.