Michigan resident Elias Abuelazam, 33, was identified as the suspect in a series of 18 vicious stabbings that included five deaths in three states. He is reportedly apprehended trying to leave the U.S.
Elias Abuelazam, Israeli-Arab, is accused of stabbing 18 people in three states, killing five. He was arrested at 10 p.m. Wednesday at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, where he was attempting to board a Delta flight to Tel-Aviv, Israel, where it’s believed he was born. Abuelazam has been charged one count of assault with intent to murder in connection with a July 27 attack in Flint, Mich. Though that charge can carry a life sentence, further charges are expected as the investigation continues.
Abuelazam worked at the Kingwater Market in Mt. Morris Township, was last at work Aug. 2. He told coworkers that he had to go to Virginia, where he has family. Authorities received a tip Wednesday that Abuelazam had not returned to work and had gone to Virginia. Police watched surveillance tapes and saw he matched the physical description of the suspect. Earlier this month he was charged for an assault against his brother-in-law. His green Chevy Blazer, colored green over gold – matching the suspect’s vehicle description – was impounded and police there found a knife and a hammer.
Police believe he came to Michigan in May, just days before the attacks began. Most of the stabbing victims were black men, but police declined to say the attacks were racially motivated: “We don’t have a motive yet but, as you know, many times the motive doesn’t appear until later in the investigation,” Leyton said. “Jury instructions don’t require us necessarily to have a motive.”
Those who knew him here say he was a serious flirt, and a quiet, “regular” guy, but his ex-wife’s family, former neighbors in Israel and court records show he was rough around the edges — and no stranger to the law. Not much is known about how Abuelazam made a living. Over the years, he moved around from Michigan to Virginia to Florida, and held multiple jobs, including mental health technician at a psychiatric facility. On July 5 of this year, he walked into Kingwater Market and asked for a job. Though he only worked at the party store for less than a month, regular customers said he was an OK guy who didn’t show any aggression or unusual behavior toward black customers. No one suspected a thing until an anonymous tip led to his arrest, and everyone — from his ex-mother-in-law to his buddies in Israel to his boss — is floored Abuelazam is suspected of being the internationally notorious Flint serial stabber.
-articles by Melissa Burden and Ron Fonger, and form abcnews.com, rewritten and adapted by admin-