BRIGHTON (CBS) – College roommates of Khaled Awad, the man accused of stabbing Rabbi Shlomo Noginski eight times outside a Jewish school in Brighton Thursday, say he was “violent” and “very much anti-Semitic”.
Investigators say Awad approached Rabbi Noginski outside the Shaloh House Thursday afternoon, and tried to steal his car. When the rabbi ran, Awad chased him and stabbed him. When officers found the suspect, they say he pointed a gun at them before surrendering.
Noginski was released from the hospital on Friday and returned home to recover with his wife and 12 children, while Awad was arraigned in Brighton District Court.
Prosecutors said Awad has no record in Massachusetts, but has faced charges of battery and theft in Florida and was sent to a mental health facility there. He’ll be held without bail until a dangerousness hearing on July 8.
Two former college roommates and friends at the University of Southern Florida, where he studied chemical engineering until very recently, say Awad had showed a propensity for violence.
“He started becoming violent,” one of the former roommates said.
His roommate says he and Awad were friends until Awad attacked him in their shared kitchen one day, prompting him to move out and get a restraining order.
“We were friends, to be honest with you. I’m Jewish. And he knew that since I moved in,” he said.
They say Awad’s beliefs towards certain cultures became evident early on.
“He was very much anti-Semitic. He would say like all types of Jewish jokes. I thought he was joking at first and then I started to see seriousness in his comments,” another former roommate told WBZ.
After the assault in fall of 2020, the friends distanced themselves from Khaled, but still say they’re shocked he would go so far as to assault a stranger with a weapon.
“He disgusted me at that point. I wanted nothing to do with the guy. At this point, I was a little scared of him. I was scared of what he was capable of because I realize he was a very dark person,” one of the friends said.
The men also say they don’t know the suspect’s connection to Massachusetts or when he got here. In court, prosecutors said they’re looking into the possibility of filing civil rights charged in this case.