Community Calls for Justice for Black Bay Area Teen Killed at BART Station

07.23.18

“Please help me get justice for my daughter,” Ansar Mohammed pleaded on KTVU. “I watch this on TV but I never imagined this happening to me.”

A passenger on BART, the public transportation system in the San Francisco Bay Area, fatally stabbed Mohammed’s 18-year-old daughter Nia Wilson in the neck at around 9:45 p.m. on Sunday and wounded her older sister as they exited a train at a stop near downtown Oakland, according to SFGate.

Nia Wilson was pronounced dead at the scene, and her sister was taken to a nearby hospital.

The attack appeared to be random, according to witnesses. The suspect fled and remains at large was arrested Monday night.

The suspect is 27-year-old John Lee Cowell, a white man who was recently released from prison.

According to BART officials, both the victims and the suspect boarded a train in Concord, a Bay Area suburb. Cowell reportedly followed the sisters off the train and attacked them on the platform.

Malika Harris identified the victim who died as her 18-year-old sister. Harris created a GoFundMe campaign Monday and raised over $3,500 in the first five hours.

Several relatives gathered at the station Sunday evening to mourn Wilson.

“She needs her justice … she was just an innocent kid, and she didn’t deserve this,” Ebony Monroe, a cousin of the victims, told SFGate. “And he did this for no reason.”

Monroe described Nia Wilson as a “beautiful, sweet person” who loved fashion and makeup.

Activist Shaun King, Singer Kehlani, and more have joined in the effort to find the suspect. Some called out BART for not finding and releasing photos of the suspect sooner.

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