Much of the Boise community remains stunned and reeling from Saturday's senseless stabbing which took the life of a 3-year-old girl and seriously injured 8 others.
An especially trying time, however, for those who know the victims personally from their shared place of worship at the Islamic Center of Boise. President of the Center Muntaga Bah visited the victims at St. Lukes Hospital in Boise this morning.
"One of them I just saw today in the hospital -- I actually saw him at the picnic!" Bah tells us. "He went home and got attacked with the knife. That's how everything happened."
Bah was hosting an Islamic Center picnic alongside the father of one of the child victims-- who was also sustained injuries from the incident-- on Saturday when somebody texted with news from the incident.
"It was really like, I just saw him. I actually spoke with him."
This morning -- he finally heard from the victims when he got a call from an unknown number.
"Earlier today one of the kids, he called me, and at first I was like, 'hello? Who is this?'" he says. "A language barrier of course, it took a minute, but then, I put one and one together and I finally said 'as-salamu alaykum,' which is 'peace be upon you,' and then that kind of excited him a little bit, then he responded and we communicated with the mom."
The child asked if Bah could pay him a visit to where he was staying at St. Lukes Hospital, so he went there Monday morning.
"I saw one of the brothers that got attacked-- he got stabbed in the chest. Um, his face has some stitches," he said. "I could feel my body tensing up, I was just saddened by seeing them, shaking their hands, saying 'as-salamu alaykum,' 'How are you guys doing?'"
The road to recovery will be difficult...But it will be eased by the outpouring of community support the victims have received.
Bah is grateful for the support for the victims and the Islamic and refugee community. "Thank you very much for the community. Islamic center of Boise and the Muslim community, and refugee community. Thanks everybody here in Boise for their overwhelming support."
The option to donate directly to the victims' medical bills has been added as a feature to the Islamic Center of Boise website.