VIDEO: 'Remember Her' A tribute to Nia Wilson
BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas held a media availability at Rockridge Station. He says the arrest was uneventful and that the suspect was taken into custody without incident.
A BART rider on an Antioch-bound train captured the arrest of 27-year-old John Cowell on her cellphone camera. Officers had intercepted the train at the Pleasant Hill BART station after getting tips from the public. The man, wanted for Sunday night's double stabbing, had been at large for nearly 21 hours.
VIDEO: This is the moment the BART stabbing suspect was arrested
"They asked him what his name was. He was truthful with the officers in terms of his name and they asked him for identification and he did provide a California identification," said Rojas.
The arrest comes as a huge relief for the Bay Area, where the random attack has triggered outrage and protest.
VIDEO: What we know about the deadly Oakland BART stabbing
Police say Cowell pulled a knife on sisters Nia and Letifah Wilson on the platform of the MacArthur Station just before 9:45 p.m. Sunday night. Nia, 18, died from her stab wounds.
"I don't know what it was but he was just always kind of a problem," said neighbor Carol Kincaid.
RELATED: Here's how you can help the family of BART stabbing victim Nia Wilson
She has known Cowell since he was a child. She says he's lived in and out of this Concord home and over the years has been in trouble with the law. In fact, according to our media partners at the East Bay Times, Cowell has an extensive criminal record.
Kaiser Medical in Richmond filed a restraining order against him after he was accused of threatening to kill an employee in 2016.
VIDEO: Oakland BART stabbing victim recalls horrific attack that killed sister
Then he was sentenced to prison for robbery and after serving two years, was out on parole four months ago.
As to what led to Sunday night's stabbing, police still don't have a motive.
"We haven't connected him to any type of radical group or white supremacist group or anything like that," Rojas added.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf released a statement on the suspect's arrest:
"The senseless murder of Nia Wilson and the stabbing of her sister Latifah has traumatized our community, and most especially their family and friends. I want to again express my condolences to them, first and foremost. I am relieved to learn that the suspect was apprehended after an anonymous tip from a BART rider led to the arrest of the suspect. May this serve as the first step in bringing justice for the Wilson family, and healing to our community. As the Mayor of Oakland, it's important I acknowledge that this horrific crime has a context. Although investigators currently have no evidence to conclude that this tragedy was racially motivated or that the suspect was affiliated with any hate groups, the fact that his victims were both young African American women stirs deep pain and palpable fear in all of us who acknowledge the reality that our country still suffers from a tragic and deeply racist history. I recognize that Sunday's tragic events came on the heels of news that white supremacists were attempting to gather at a downtown bar this evening. I appreciate the commitment of these establishments to prohibit such activity in their businesses and then decided to hold a "Pro Oakland Movement" event this evening to support organizations that fight bigotry and discrimination on behalf of our community and our values. Oakland has no room for hate or white supremacy."
Go here for full coverage on the stabbing at Oakland's MacArthur BART station that took the life of 18-year-old Nia Wilson.
CONTINUING COVERAGE ON DEADLY BART STABBING:
- What we know about deadly stabbing at Oakland's MacArthur BART station
- 'Remember Her' A tribute to Nia Wilson
- Here's how you can help the family of BART stabbing victim Nia Wilson
- Chilling dispatch call describes terrifying fatal MacArthur BART stabbing
- 'He was wiping off his knife': BART stabbing victim recalls horrific attack that killed sister
- Heartbroken father demands justice after daughter stabbed at BART station
- 'Stand down': BART stabbing victim's godfather makes plea to black community
- TIPS: How to stay safe on BART
- Bart releases info on pair of homicides