On March 22, two boys, 13-year-old Joshua Federov and his 11-year-old friend, were attacked by a man with a knife outside of Dollar Tree in Mill Creek, Washington, located about 20 miles Northeast of Seattle, after they called the man an "NPC," an insult originating from video game parlance meaning "non-playable character."
Local news reports the 11-year-old, who wants to remain unidentified, was stabbed by the suspect in his lung, which collapsed, and his liver. He was first treated at Providence Regional Medical Center and then moved to Harborview Medical Center's ICU for three days.
The boy survived his injuries but must continue treatment for his wounds at home.
According to the Urban Dictionary, NPC can be used as a slur to say someone cannot think independently or critically.
Joshua David Pence, 29, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault with a weapon over the incident and booked into Snohomish County Jail with a bail set at $500,000.
The boys were hanging out at the Thomas Lake Shopping Center where they encountered the man.
Federov said, "He was at the crosswalk and we were on the hill at the dollar store, and then we yelled 'NPC' and he jaywalked across the street and then started chasing us into the dollar store."
Fedorov said, "We're going to be fine if we just run into the dollar store. That's what I thought. When I saw him pull out a knife, I realized it wasn't a joke."
The boys ran into the Dollar Tree and the suspect allegedly began stabbing the 11-year-old. Staff and customers intervened and detained the suspect until authorities arrived.
The 11-year-old's mother, Shanai Rowton, described her son's wounds and said he "got oxygen, they had just given him a unit of blood because he lost blood." She set up a GoFundMe for his continued medical treatment.Local NBC reports that the "the suspect is a stranger to the children."
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