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From Phil Helsel
The rider who police say he deliberately drove a pedestrian-driven car in California this week attacked his victims because he believed some of them were Muslims, police announced on Friday.
The Sunniwill Public Security Department said the suspect, Isaia Joel Naines, 34, "deliberately attacked the victims based on their race and the belief that they are of Muslim faith."
None of the victims died in a Tuesday night crash. Peoples are charged with eight counts of attempted murder. The Department of Public Security said the apparent motive was based on new evidence in the case.
The peoples were arrested at the scene, and officials said it appeared to be waiting for the police to arrive.
The Department of Public Security, Mr. Fan Ngo, said no other information on the suspected motive would be released, including new evidence. Investigators learned about the new information late Thursday afternoon, he said.
"This is an ongoing investigation and its integrity is vital," Ngo told a press conference Friday.
Chief Clerk Santa Clara District Attorney, Jay Boyarki, said People were not charged with a hate crime because the case is still under investigation.
"However, as the boss said, there is very terrible and disturbing evidence that at least one or two of these victims were targeted on the defendant's position as to what their race or religion might be," said Boyarski.
The most serious victim, previously identified as a 13-year-old girl, remained in critical condition on Friday, Ngo said.
"Our hearts are with her and her loved ones while we pray for her recovery," said the police chief. Her family sought privacy, he said.
If convicted, peoples can face life in prison.
Sunnyvale is about 40 miles from San Francisco.