Investigators probe deadly stabbing at San Jose church

Grace Baptist Church had opened its doors on a chilly Sunday night to house some of San Jose’s homeless when violence erupted. 
“When officers arrived, they found a total of five victims who had been stabbed at least one time,” said Sgt. Christian Camarillo, a San Jose Police Department spokesman.
Investigators said a man was killed at the scene and a woman died later at a nearby hospital. Three other men were injured in the attack.
“Well you know, it’s funny. A lot of people like him, friendly on the outside. You don’t know what’s going on on the inside,” said Pastor Scott Wagers, of CHAM Deliverance Ministry.
The long-time South Bay homeless advocate said the lone suspect arrested in the attacks appeared in a KTVU story on November 9. The news outlet is not releasing his identity because San Jose police will neither confirm nor deny the man’s involvement.
However, investigators did say the crimes happened in conjunction with “Grace Solutions,” a church-run program to house homeless residents in the basement on cold nights.
Mayor Sam Liccardo tweeted in response to the loss of life: “Our hearts are torn for the victims and their loved ones…We pray for the recovery of the three others seriously injured in that attack.”
Experts said a convergence of factors can create emotionally combustible conditions.
“What we’re experiencing here is desperate people behaving desperately. And we have a number of factors to explain this perfect storm that we’re living through right now,” said Greg Woods, a professor in the San Jose State University Department of Justice Studies.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer supplies for charities, and greater overall uncertainty are pushing people to the breaking point.
Grace Baptist had to reduce the number of beds from 65 to 50, to meet Santa Clara County social distancing requirements.
“This is the kind of violence we’re seeing not only in downtown San Jose but throughout our state and nation,” said Woods. Added Pastor Wagers, “Living unhoused brings those conditions and it brings a lot of potential for horrible situations.”
Investigators are interviewing more than two dozen witnesses to try and determine what sparked the stabbings. Officials said these homicides represent the 40th and 41st so far this year, which is ahead of the 2019 total of 34.