Isaiah Joel Peoples was arraigned Friday on eight counts of attempted murder stemming from Tuesday’s crash in California
Authorities said Peoples who was on his way to Bible study who drove into a crosswalk at high speed ‘intentionally targeted his victims based on their race and the belief they might be Muslim’
Peoples, 34, an Iraq war veteran reportedly, with PTSD, spent a year in a mental hospital in 2015 and is also on medication
He is a military contractor, and previously worked as a civil affairs specialist in Army
Witnesses said he stumbled out of his car repeating, ‘Thank you, Jesus’
All eight injured people were taken to hospital, four remained hospitalized, including a 13-year-old girl in critical condition
An Iraq War veteran who plowed into a crosswalk intentionally targeted the victims based on their race and his belief they might be Muslim, Californian authorities say.
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, with part of her skull removed to relieve pressure.
Her father and brother were also hit Tuesday when police say Peoples drove intentionally into a crosswalk while on his way to Bible study.
Peoples is a former Army sharpshooter who was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and 2006.
He ‘showed no remorse’ after his car plowed at high speed into a group of people in a crosswalk on Tuesday evening in the Silicon Valley suburb of Sunnyvale before hitting a tree, Police Chief Phan Ngo said.
Draped marched over to Peoples’ car, which had swerved onto a sidewalk and crashed into a tree.
He said Peoples did not appear drunk but looked dazed and was mumbling over and over, ‘Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.’
The police chief said Peoples had picked up food and was on his way to deliver it to his Bible study group.
‘When we took him into custody, he did not behave in any manner that would be considered bizarre,’ Ngo said. ‘He has not shown any remorse.’
Peoples’ mother Leevell Peoples defended her son as a ‘model citizen’ on Wednesday, saying the only situation in which he’d launch an attack is due to a bout with PTSD
In the days preceding the crash, the mother said her veteran son was having trouble at work. She also said that talk of his job performance would trigger his PTSD.
She said she last spoke to Isaiah just hours before he drove into the crowd and recalled that he did not sound upset.
Leevell argued that her son requires psychiatric treatment and does not belong in jail.
‘I know with 100 percent certainty that my son did not do that on purpose. No way ever,’ she said.
Peoples graduated from Sacramento State University after returning from Iraq in 2007 and was working as an auditor for the Defense Department in nearby Mountain View, his mother said.
He’s been employed there since August 20, 2017, according to a local newspaper.
‘He basically probably has no friends but the people he works with,’ she said. ‘He’s an Army vet. He’s a good kid, never been arrested. I promise you: It was not deliberate. If anything, it was that Army.’
She said the Army forced her son to retire because of PTSD. Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col Carla Gleason confirmed that he retired from the Army.
His brother, Joshua Peoples, painted a similar portrait of his sibling as a ‘really good kid’ struggling with PTSD.
‘He’s always just trying to do good for himself,’ said Joshua, who speculated that his service overseas ‘messed up his mental health.’
Peoples served as a civil affairs specialist in the Army Reserve from March 2004 to July 2009 and attained the rank of sergeant, and he was deployed to Iraq from June 2005 to May 2006, according to another Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Emanuel Ortiz.
Peoples was honorably discharged from the Army, and police were investigating the PTSD report, Ngo said.
Snapped: Peoples was honorably discharged from the Army, and police were investigating the PTSD report