A Texas man is now serving 25 years in prison for attacking an Asian family inside of a Sam’s Club store.
On Thursday, Jose Gomez III was sentenced to 25 years behind bars for committing a hate crime against an Asian family. In March 2020, Gomez attacked a family in Midland, Texas. Gomez did not know the family but believed they were Chinese and responsible for the COVID-19 virus. He says the family is a “threat” from the country that “started spreading that disease around.”
“Pandemic-driven and racially-motivated acts of violence are deplorable crimes. And the Justice Department stands ready to use our hate crimes laws to hold perpetrators accountable,” the assistant attorney general says. “Hate crimes targeting Asian Americans have spiked during the pandemic and must be confronted. All people deserve to feel safe and secure living in their communities, regardless of race, color or national origin.”
The incident occurred after Gomez found the utensils section of the store. He grabbed a steak knife and found the family. Gomez punched the father in the face, cutting him in the process.
Gomez left the family to exchange the steak knife for an 8-inch knife. He returned back to the family and attacked the two children. Gomez slashed the 6-year-old boy in the face, near his eye, which left a cut that wrapped all the way around to the back of his head.
Gomez also stabbed a store employee, who tried to intervene, in the leg. Witness claim that Gomez yelled out “get out of America” to the family once he was detained.
The incident occurred as reports of hate crimes targeting the Asian community in the U.S. increased following the pandemic.