Oakland police are on the hunt for a Buddhist monk who stabbed the head monk of a monastery he had recently joined. The bizarre attack happened Tuesday evening at the Branch of International Community of Khmer Buddhist Monks Center at 624 Douglas Avenue in East Oakland, near the Oakland Airport, when the unidentified suspect apparently "snapped" and attacked the 66-year-old head monk with two butcher knives, according to CBS 5. A third monk stepped in to stop the attack, and the suspect then fled the center on foot.
Monk Chundoeun Phin said he intervened, shoving the suspect as he was "chopping" up the victim, and he says, "I must have startled him because he dropped both of the knives."
As the Chronicle reports, the suspect who has not been given a description in any of the reports apart from being 30 years old and having a shaved head passed a neighbor across the street as he fled and asked him for a cigarette.
Nearby members of the Oakland Fire Department also reported seeing the suspect walking on San Leandro Street near 105th Avenue shortly after the attack.
Witnesses tell the Chron that the victim's face was "split open," and he remains in critical condition at Highland Hospital.
Details about the suspect remain sketchy apart from the fact that he was new to the monastery. Phin, in speaking to CBS 5, implies that he may have had a less than savory background, saying, "I thought he would be a whole changed person. But something just snapped in his head."
Oakland Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the suspect's arrest. Anyone with information can call police at 510-238-3426 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572.