A knife crime suspect who police say stabbed a Columbus, Georgia AutoZone employee in a random attack said that he “felt the need to find a white male to kill” after watching videos of police shootings following months of nonstop media coverage following the death of George Floyd.
Jayvon Hatchett, 19, is charged with aggravated assault and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime, per WRBL, after stabbing an AutoZone employee in a random attack on August 25.
Police said that Hatchett had watched videos of police brutality and “felt the need to find a white male to kill.”
“Jayvon Hatchett stabbed Auto Zone employee 7 times after ‘watching Facebook videos of police shootings,’” WLTZ News reporter Robbie Watson wrote in a Facebook post after the arraignment. “Hatchett smiles telling Detective he chose white man at random and stabbed him in the neck. Victim’s critical and traumatized by attack according to court testimony.”
The 51-year-old victim, identified as Mike, was reportedly stabbed seven times during the ordeal.
“On August 25 Mike was working at AutoZone when a customer walked up to him and attacked him with a knife,” the victim’s GoFundMe read. “Mike was stabbed seven times, four times in the neck, once in the back, the chest and the hand. He is in critical condition and has a long road to recovery. Money raised from this fundraiser will go towards medical bills accumulated during this time. Thank you so much for your time and consideration in helping Mike and his family in the days ahead.”
Witnesses say that Hatchett fled the scene after stabbing the victim. Police indicate that the suspect and the victim did not have a pre-existing relationship.
A new Georgia law could see Hatchett be charged with a hate crime as he admitted the crime to be racially motivated, according to police.
According to the new hate crime law signed in the summer of 2020 by Governor Brian Kemp, committing a crime against someone intentionally based on their race allows for tougher sentencing. There is not a hate crime charge that can be added at the law enforcement level, but if proven in court the judge can add years to a prison sentence.
Hatchett is currently being held without bond at the Muscogee County Jail until his case goes to the Superior Court.