New details from ABC 11 in Raleigh, N.C., about the Muslim man who plowed into students on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus today:
The driver of an SUV that plowed into a group of pedestrians at UNC-Chapel Hill on Friday told police it was retribution for the treatment of Muslims around the world, according to ABC News.
It happened around noon Friday in front of Lenoir Hall on the campus, in a common area known as the Pit. Paramedics took six people to UNC Hospitals. Five had been released by Friday evening and the sixth was not expected to be admitted.
Officials say none of the people were seriously injured. Three refused treatment at the scene.
Chapel Hill police say they arrested the suspect, Mohammed Reza Taheriazar, 23, of Chapel Hill, shortly after the incident. Several witnesses were able to give police the rented Jeep Cherokee’s license plate number.
Police said they would charge Taheriazar, a psychology major who graduated from UNC last semester, with several counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
…Sources say Taheriazar told police he was seeking retribution for the treatment of Muslims around the world, according to ABC News justice correspondent Pierre Thomas. Taheriazar apparently told police he tried to rent the biggest SUV he could find to use in the attack.
By Friday afternoon, a police SWAT team had surrounded a Carrboro apartment complex where Taheriazar reportedly lived.
Taheriazar is a native of Iran and a December 2005 UNC graduate, according to the Raleigh News and Observer.
Bob Owens is updating the story.
Reader Ed C. from Raleigh e-mails:
Misleading lead sentence from ABC11: “The driver of an SUV that plowed into a group of pedestrians at UNC…”
Word “pedestrians” suggests that this event happened near traffic. Completely misleading.
“Pit” is sunken bricked area where students congregate. It is closely surrounded by buildings. There is no adjacent traffic. It can be accessed only via very small service access and not without carefully navigating to the pit area. There is not
even the remotest possibility that this was anything other than a deliberate vehicular assault. The students were not “pedestrians;” they were merely
students at a popular campus gathering spot, almost a courtyard.
I am reminded of Hesham Hadayet.
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