The heinous stabbing killing of synagogue president and political strategist Samantha Woll was not a hate crime, Detroit Police said at a press conference on Monday.
“We believe that there are no other groups or anyone else at risk in regard to this particular incident,” Detroit Chief of Police James E. White told reporters. “We believe this incident was not motivated by antisemitism and this suspect acted alone.” There was no forced entry, he noted.
The body of the beloved community leader and staunch supporter of Israel was discovered in front of her home in Detroit’s posh Lafayette Park neighbourhood at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday.
Police responded to a 911 call about an unresponsive person and discovered Woll, 40, on the ground outside her townhome.
She suffered stab wounds, and there was a trail of blood leading to her house.
“We certainly know that this is a dangerous person,” White added.
According to the investigation, Woll returned home from a wedding at 12:30 a.m. Police are looking into her journey home from the wedding and whether or not street cameras caught another automobile tailing her.
“We’ll be tracking her entire route digitally,” he said.
When she returned home, investigators suspect she was attacked inside before stumbling outdoors and collapsing in the garden, according to White.
However, police are collaborating with blood spatter experts to confirm her path.
White, whose office is collaborating with the FBI and the Michigan State Police on the investigation, noted that detectives have not yet identified a single person of interest. “We have a number of people who show interest.” “We’re just a step away from labelling one of the people a suspect,” he said.
White refused to divulge a possible motive or any particular details about the incident, such as whether she had defensive wounds, for fear of jeopardising the investigation.
“We have to be very, very cautious as to what information we share,” he said. “There are some very intricate details about this case that, if revealed, could really damage what we’re trying to accomplish. There are some facts that are known only to our suspect.”
White also stated that police would look into an exclusive Fox News Digital story that two tyres parked in the same complex were cut over the weekend.
Many thought that Woll was the victim of a hate crime during the height of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
She is a strong proponent of Israel and a prominent member of the local Jewish community. She oversaw a substantial refurbishment of the historic Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue as president.
Prior to taking on her leadership role at the synagogue, she worked for Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin and Attorney General Dana Nessel’s re-election campaign.
She co-founded the Muslim-Jewish Forum of Detroit, whose purpose is to promote goodwill between the two populations.
Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan who has been a strong critic of Israel, paid tribute to Woll on Facebook.
“My friend, and a member of our organizing community, Sam Woll, was murdered. I have no words. She always had a sweet smile to offer and the warmest eyes to greet you. Our community is devastated and we are shocked,” she wrote.