Chicago’s ABC affiliate reports:
The 6-year-old suburban boy stabbed to death in an apparent hate crime over the weekend will be laid to rest Monday, in Muslim tradition. Joseph Czuba stabbed Wadea Al-Fayoume and his mother in unincorporated Plainfield Saturday morning because they are Muslim, the Will County Sheriff’s Office said on Sunday.
Late Sunday, the Chicago FBI Field Office, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois said they have opened a federal investigation into the killing.
A recent photo of Al-Fayoume showed a young boy who had celebrated his birthday a couple of weeks ago. He was stabbed 26 times with a military-style knife, officials said. His mother was stabbed 12 times, and remains in the hospital.
Joseph M. Czuba, 71, was charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of a hate crime and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, the Will County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The sheriff’s office said Czuba did not make a statement to detectives but investigators determined the victims were “targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the on-going Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis.”
The family had lived on the house’s ground floor for two years without “previous notable issues” with Czuba, CAIR said. But in texts to the boy’s father from the hospital after the attack, Shahin said the landlord “knocked on their door, and when she opened, he tried to choke her and proceeded to attack her with a knife, yelling, ‘you Muslims must die,’” according to the CAIR statement.
We are shocked and disturbed to learn that a landlord in Chicago expressing anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian views broke into a Muslim family’s apartment and attacked them with a knife, injuring the mother and killing her 6-year-old son, Wadea Al-Fayoume. @cairchicago will hold a… pic.twitter.com/N0ILuevq4n
— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) October 15, 2023
This is enraging and sick.
Plainfield Township landlord accused of killing boy, 6, stabbing woman because they were Muslim https://t.co/tueFU2Sa1z
— Adam Kinzinger (Slava Ukraini) 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@AdamKinzinger) October 15, 2023