A 34-year-old California man who was once a U.S. Army sharpshooter in Iraq faces life in prison now that he’s been charged with eight counts of attempted murder.
Plot twist: he used a car rather than a gun.
Isaiah Joel Peoples was on his way to his Bible study group last week when police say he decided to veer onto a sidewalk in Sunnyvale, California, hoping to make Muslim casualties.
The driver accused of intentionally hitting a group of pedestrians in Northern California attacked people he believed were Muslims, police said.
New evidence shows that Isaiah Joel Peoples also targeted the crowd based on race, Sunnyvale, California, Police Chief Phan Ngo told reporters Friday. Ngo refused to discuss the evidence or provide more details about the investigation. …
The victims, men and women, ranged in age from 9 to 52. At least one of them, a 13-year-old girl, remain[ed] hospitalized Friday in critical condition, police said.
The suspect’s attorney, Chuck Smith, tried to paint his client’s religiosity as a positive thing — because, he said,
Peoples is a religious man who is praying for the people who were injured.
Meanwhile, police say that Peoples has shown no remorse.
According to ThinkProgress,
A witness [said that Peoples] reached speeds of 60 miles per hour before striking the victims. “After crashing, he dragged himself out of the sedan and repeatedly moaned, ‘Thank you, Jesus,’ witnesses said.
Smith denies that Peoples intentionally used his car as an instrument of death, and claims that the wannabe Muslim-killer had suffered some kind of mental episode, perhaps brought on by PTSD.
We’ll learn more on May 16, when Peoples, who is being held without bail, is due back in court.
(Photo via the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety)