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Police suspect hate crime in stabbings at Detroit-area bus stop

Terrence Lavaron Thomas

MICHIGAN (CNN) — The stabbings of two people at a Detroit-area bus stop began with what police said was a simple question: Are you Muslim?

Terrence Lavaron Thomas, 39, was arraigned Tuesday on assault with intent to murder, drug possession and weapons charges in the Saturday night bus shelter stabbings in Southfield, Michigan.

One of the victims, a male in his 50s, was stabbed five times in the face and neck and three times in the upper back, Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins said. The other victim, also a man in his 50s, was stabbed in the hand when he tried to intervene in the assault.

The two men, whose injuries were not life threatening, were treated for their injuries and released, police said. The three men did not know one another.

Hawkins said Thomas asked a group of people waiting for a bus whether they were Muslim.

When two people responded that they were not, Hawkins said, Thomas allegedly “became upset by that answer, saying he was Muslim and it was not acceptable that they were not.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was involved in the investigation of possible hate crimes, Hawkins said.

At court Tuesday, Bond for Thomas was set at $1 million. His next court appearance is on March 4.

It was unclear whether Thomas has an attorney.

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