Two sisters were charged with first-degree attempted murder on Tuesday after they allegedly stabbed a security guard 27 times after he asked the women to wear a mask and use the store-provided hand sanitizer, police say.
A Chicago Police Department spokesperson told NBC News that Jessica Hill, 21, and her sister, Jayla, 18, initially got into a verbal altercation with a guard at a shoe store in Chicago after they refused to wear a mask. The late Sunday afternoon incident turned physical when one of the sisters allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed the guard multiple times in the back, neck, and arms, police say.
Chicago police said the 32-year-old victim was hospitalized at Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition, while the sisters were arrested and treated at a nearby hospital for minor injuries.
According to police, the women were both in “good condition” and later booked at Cook County Jail.
At a bond hearing on Tuesday, Circuit Court of Cook County Judge Mary Marubio charged the women with first-degree attempted murder and ordered them to be held without bond, prosecutors said.
The sisters’ court-appointed attorney could not immediately be reached for comment, but the Chicago Tribune reported that the defense lawyer argued that they were acting in self-defense and have bipolar disorder.
The defense attorney added that the pair had not intended to commit a crime nor did they have a criminal record, but the judge said the “sheer number” of stab wounds was concerning, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The Chicago stabbing is the latest on a list of violent mask disputes happening all over the country. In September, an 80-year-old man near Buffalo, New York, died from “blunt force trauma to the head” a few days after he asked a man to wear a mask at a bar, who allegedly later shoved him to the ground. Earlier in May, two men broke a security guard’s arm at a Target in Los Angeles after they refused to wear face masks inside the store, police say.
Marubio said the incident was “terrifying,” according to the Sun-Times.
“It’s the complete randomness of this,” Marubio said. “This is just too random and quickly escalating. I can’t fashion conditions that would protect the community.”
Prosecutors said the sisters are expected back in court on Nov. 4.