The man who allegedly stabbed two elderly Asian women in San Francisco earlier this week is now facing multiple charges, including premeditated attempted murder, prosecutors announced Thursday.
Patrick Thompson, 54, was charged with two counts of premeditated attempted murder and two counts of elder abuse, with enhancements for great bodily injury, great bodily injury on elders and personal use of a deadly weapon, in the "brutal" knife attack, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said.
The district attorney's office said it is still working with police to determine if any additional charges should be brought forth, including any evidence to support hate crime allegations.
The women, ages 84 and 63, were stabbed shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday, San Francisco police said.
Both victims were hospitalized. The 84-year-old's injuries were at first considered life-threatening; she's since been upgraded to non-life-threatening condition, police said. The 63-year-old's injuries are non-life-threatening, police said. One victim was stabbed in the lungs, and a knife had to be removed from the second at the hospital, according to the district attorney's office.
The district attorney is not releasing the victims' names.
Thompson was taken into custody about two hours after the incident and booked on two charges of attempted murder and elder abuse, police said. It is unclear if he has an attorney.
In 2017, a judge found Thompson incompetent to stand trial during court proceedings for several cases, according to the district attorney's office. He was transferred to Napa State Hospital and then, after returning to custody, started participating in a state mental health diversion program in October 2018, the office said. A judge granted a motion for him to leave the program after nearly two years, during which time he was not charged with any new offenses, though he was arrested for missing court and for possessing a drug pipe, the office said.
"What happened is a devastating tragedy, and we will use the full force of our office's resources to prosecute this case. We also need to work hard to stop the next crime from happening, and that involves prevention and treatment," Boudin's office said in a statement. "We need far more intensive tools that keep people who are mentally ill treated and supported so that they do not reoffend even when there is no pending criminal case."
The stabbing was the latest in a spate of violence against Asian Americans across the nation. The coronavirus pandemic and its suspected origins in the Chinese city of Wuhan are cited as leading to the tide of anti-Asian discrimination.
There were more than 6,600 hate incidents against Asians and Pacific Islanders reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit organization that tracks such incidents, between mid-March 2020 when the pandemic began and March 31, 2021. About 40% of the incidents were reported in California.