An attacker with a machete burst into a Hasidic rabbi's home during a Hanukkah celebration in a New York suburb Saturday night and began slashing people, leaving five wounded and two in critical condition, according to reports.
The assailant, described as an African-American male, was arrested by the NYPD in another location after fleeing the scene. Photos of the suspect, which Disrn will not publish, show him to be a bearded black man.
Governor Cuomo on Sunday morning called the attack "an act of domestic terrorism":
A man named Aron Kohn, who was in the rabbi's home at the time of the attack, said:
"I was praying for my life. He started attacking people right away as soon as he came in the door. We didn't have time to react at all.
We saw him pull a knife out of a case. It was about the size of a broomstick."
Once the attacker fled the rabbi's home, he reportedly tried to enter the synagogue next door but could not gain entrance as people inside had heard screams coming from the home and locked the doors.
🔦 The attack comes amid a surge in anti-Semitic violence in the New York area. Monsey, a suburb of New York City, is a region with a large population of Orthodox Jews.