SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An Iraq War veteran deliberately drove into a group of pedestrians because he thought some of the people were Muslim, California authorities said Friday.
Isaiah Joel Peoples, 34, faces eight counts of attempted murder for injuring eight people, including four who remain hospitalized. The most seriously injured is a 13-year-old Sunnyvale girl of South Asian descent who is in a coma with severe brain trauma.
“New evidence shows that the defendant intentionally targeted the victims based on their race and his belief that they were of the Muslim faith,” Sunnyvale police chief Phan Ngo said.
Peoples appeared briefly in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Friday. He did not enter a plea and is being held without bail.
The former U.S. Army sharpshooter experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq, his family said. Peoples’ attorney, Chuck Smith, said Friday that the crash was in no way deliberate.
Smith said after the hearing that they do not…