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Chicago area landlord accused of killing Palestinian American boy, 6, stabbing woman because they were Muslim

Boy killed, mother wounded in Plainfield Township stabbing
Boy killed, mother wounded in Plainfield Township stabbing 01:29

UPDATE: Funeral services for the 6-year-old boy will be held Monday afternoon. The suspect also is due to make his first court appearance in Will County on Monday.

PLAINFIELD, Ill. (CBS) -- A 71-year-old landlord has been charged with murder, after authorities say he stabbed and killed a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy and seriously wounded his mother because they are Muslim, and due to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

Joseph Czuba has been charged with one count each of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and aggravated battery, and two counts of hate crime.

Joseph Czuba is facing murder and hate crime charges, accused of stabbing and killing a 6-year-old boy and seriously wounding a 32-year-old woman because they were Muslim. Will County Sheriff

According to the Will County Sheriff's Office around 11:38 a.m., a woman called 911 from a home near the intersection of South Lincoln Highway and Lily Cache Road in southwest suburban Plainfield Township. The victim, 32, said her landlord was attacking her with a knife as she ran to the bathroom to call 911. 

Officials say when deputies arrived on the scene they found the Czuba sitting outside on the ground near the driveway of the home with a laceration on his forehead. 

Inside deputies found two victims, 32-year-old Hanaan Shahin, and her 6-year-old son, Wadee Alfayoumi. Police initially said Wadee was 8 years old, but later said that initial information was incorrect.

Wadee had been stabbed 26 times, and his mother had been stabbed more than a dozen times.

Shahin was transported to a hospital in serious condition, and Wadee was transported in critical condition. Wadee was later pronounced dead. 

Czuba was treated and released from the hospital and transported to the Will County Sheriff's Office Public Safety Complex for questioning. Sheriff's police said he did not talk to detectives, but investigators were able to determine he targeted the victims because they are Muslim, due to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

Neighbors said it's normally a very quiet area, although they were a bit concerned at times about signs in front of the house.

"He always had signs around times of elections and that were pretty angry about what was going on politically and locally here. So I'm hoping that both of them survive," Jim Stein said.

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