‘This was a HATE CRIME’: Oakland native Kehlani urges BART officials to find Nia Wilson’s murderer

Singer Kehlani has had a strong reaction to a senseless tragedy that took place in her hometown of Oakland, California.

According to the San Francisco GateSunday evening, a man fatally stabbed 18-year-old Nia Wilson and wounded her sister on the Bay Area Rapid Transit in what officials said appears to have been a “random” attack by a stranger.

The double stabbing occurred about 9:45 p.m. at MacArthur Station.

Agency spokesman Jim Allison said the second victim, Wilson’s sister was taken to a hospital for treatment, while the suspect, who is described by witnesses as a heavyset white man in his 20s or 30s with short hair, fled.

In a series of tweets the singer speculated that the attack was racially charged and called on BART and local officials to find him.

“Rest in peace Nia Wilson,” she tweeted. “Praying for your sister to pull through and heal, and for her heart when she does. God bless your family. BART, you have cameras & thousands of passengers daily, you’re being held accountable!!! this shit is wild. so young, super heartbreaking..”

manages to catch riders who haven’t paid ticket fair, young graffiti artists, you can catch a murderer,” she demanded. “Give her family some peace and get a murderous white supremecist off of oakland streets.”

Kehlani also doubled down on her theory in an Instagram post, calling the stabbing of Nia Wilson a hate crime.

“Making Bay Area citizens aware that a young 18 year old girl was brutally murdered and her sister left in critical condition in a vicious attack by a RACIST/TERRORIST/WHITE SUPREMACIST,” she wrote. “This was a HATE CRIME. no “random” bart stabbing.”

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According to SFGate.comEbony Monroe, a cousin of the victims, called Nia Wilson a “beautiful, sweet person” who loved her cousins, fashion and doing makeup.

“She needs her justice. … She was just an innocent kid, and she didn’t deserve this.” Monroe said. “And he did this for no reason.”

UPDATE 4:02 EST

BART police identified the suspect as 27-year-old John Lee Cowell. His image was captured on surveillance video.

BART police said Cowell was seen on surveillance video changing his clothes after the attack. And according to KTVU, BART police later confirmed that the knife, the suspected murder weapon, was recovered from a construction site.

 

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