BEIJING, Aug. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- The man suspected in connection with a three-month stabbing spree in Michigan was arrested at the airport as he was about to board a plane to Israel, according to media reports on Thursday.
The police believed that Elias Abuelazam, 33, the Israeli citizen and legal U.S. resident, is the main suspect in a stabbing spree that killed five men and wounded 13 others starting from May.
Abuelazam was charged Thursday in one case in Flint, Mich., where most stabbings occurred, but more charges are expected there and in Ohio and Virginia.
Nearly all of the victims were black men, with the youngest aged 15, oldest 67, but it was unclear whether the attacks were racially motivated, according to New York Times report.
Flint residents hoped that the arrest would end their fear. Roughly every four days since late May, a killer approached men at night, asking for directions, then he'd pull out a knife, stab the man and speed away, according to AP report.
Abuelazam was arrested at a boarding gate at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport.
Moments before Abuelazam was handcuffed at the airport, other waiting passengers said the man in flip-flops and shorts, appeared tense and was nervously talking on his cellphone, insisting to someone that he wasn't violent.
Abuelazam's mother, Iyam al-Azzam was told her son's arrest when she was getting ready to pick her son up at the airport.
"I do not believe these charges are true," she said, quoted by the AP, "Elias, my son, is a religious, God-fearing man who always assists anyone who needs help."