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Uncertainty Remains Over Motive in Double Stabbing

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Washington Post staff writer
Friday, August 28, 2009; 3:33 PM

D.C. police said they have interviewed the survivor of a brutal attack on two transgender people in Northwest Washington and remain uncertain whether the incident was a bias-related crime.

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The victims, both biological men living as women, were stabbed in the 200 block of Q Street NW shortly after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. One of them, Joshua Mack, 21, of Clinton, was pronounced dead at Howard University Hospital.

The survivor, whose stab wounds were not life-threatening, told police shortly after the stabbings that the assailant might have used an anti-gay epithet. A police official familiar with the case said that after interviewing the victim more extensively Thursday, detectives still were unsure what prompted the attack.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said Friday that police consider the assault "a potential hate crime."

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