U North Carolina Graduate To Be Charged With Attempted Murder

Published: March 3, 2006

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The driver of an SUV that tore through a lunchtime crowd at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill faces nine charges of attempted murder and nine charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

Just before noon on March 3, Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, 22, drove   his silver Jeep into a crowd gathered at one of UNC’s most popular meeting spots. Five students and a visiting scholar sustained minor injuries. Shortly after the attack, Taheri-azar called 911 and surrendered to police without a struggle. Witnesses say the attack appeared to be intentional, and the FBI has been called in to help with the case.

According to the Associated Press, Taheri-azar, a native of Iran and a recent dean’s-list graduate from UNC, “allegedly made statements that he acted to avenge the American treatment of Muslims. The ongoing investigation will work to confirm this,” said Special Agent Richard Kolko, an FBI spokesman in Washington.

The suspect’s nearby apartment was searched by a bomb squad but was declared safe.

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