Jose Gomez III, 21, of Midland, Texas, United States entered a Sam’s Club Warehouse in Midland on March 14, 2020 behind an Asian family with two children then aged 6 and 2. He believed the members of the family were Chinese and perceived them to be a threat as they were from the country responsible for the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Gomez had never seen the family before. For several minutes, he followed the family inside the Sam’s Club Warehouse then picked a serrated steak knife from the store and bent the knife’s blade.
When Gomez held the handle in his fist, the blade rested against his knuckles, sharp-edge facing outward. He returned to the Asian family, punched the father in the face, left the scene and retrieved an 8-inch knife from the store.
The Midland man returned, went after the two Asian children who were seated in a shopping cart’s front basket and slashed open the face of the older child, splitting the child’s right ear. The blade entered millimeters from the child’s right eye and wrapped around to the back of the child’s skull.
An employee of the store who intervened was stabbed by Gomez. While being held down on the ground, the Midland man yelled at the Asian family, “Get out of America!”
On February 23, 2022, Gomez pleaded guilty to three counts of committing a hate crime. He admitted that he had tried to kill the Asian child inside the Sam’s Club Warehouse in Midland on March 14, 2020 and attacked the employee who was trying to stop him.
For the charges, Gomez faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. For each offense, he has to pay a $250,00 fine.
Sam’s Club was founded on April 7, 1983 in Midwest City, Oklahoma, USA. It is owned and operated by Walmart Inc, which was founded by Sam Walton on July 2, 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas, USA.
Currently, Sam’s Club operates 600 membership warehouse clubs in 44 states in the U.S. The chain of membership-only retail warehouse clubs is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas.