Mount Morris police are going to great pains to stress that Abdulla Farah, manager of the convenience store where the serial stabbing suspect worked for about a month, was "extremely cooperative" in helping them.
Farah left this afternoon with a police escort after about 100 people gathered at the store, some of them yelling threats at him, The Flint Journal reports.
"He's not a suspect here," said Mount Morris Township Police Chief Scott McKenna said. "He didn't do anything wrong."
Arab-American residents of the Flint area told the Journal they feared a backlash against people who looked Middle Eastern or Arab after the suspect was identified as Elias Abuelazam, 33, a legal U.S. resident from the mixed Arab-Jewish city of Ramle, Israel.
"It's a little bit concerning," Farhad Bol, 49, told the newspaper. "The general population in America is very understanding, but there are a few who are not."
Bol said he is Persian, not Arab, but "people don't differentiate — Arab, Persian, Muslim. It's all the same to them."