On Monday, Sussman said during a news conference that he would describe Thomas as "mentally ill." He said Thomas had been hospitalized multiple times this year and was on a variety of medications. He was close with his mother, who was concerned about his well-being and often attempted to help him.
Sussman said he could not comment on the federal charges because he had not seen the criminal complaint. But he said in 75 pages of "rambling notes" he discovered in Thomas' home, there was nothing to suggest anti-Semitism.
Saturday's stabbing was the latest violence in a spate of attacks on Jewish gathering places across the nation since late 2018. On Oct. 27 last year, a man opened fire at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11.
More recently, on Dec. 10, a couple opened fire at a kosher market in Jersey City, New Jersey, killing a police officer and three other people who had been inside. The shooters were killed in the exchange of gunfire with law enforcement. At least one of the shooters was identified as a follower of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement.
Rev. Al Sharpton condemned the stabbings Monday, saying "If it had been attacks against members of the black community, we would have stood up and spoke out."
"We cannot remain silent as we see a consistent pattern against people based on their faith and based upon who they are," Sharpton said. "You can’t fight hate against you unless you’re willing to fight against hate against everyone else."
On Monday, officials announced that a private security firm would be volunteering resources to help law enforcement monitor Rockland County, where Monsey is located.
"These are all Rocklanders who saw what happened in Rockland and they know what the true heart of this community is. And they are disgusted by what's happened, they are angry about what happened, said County Executive Ed Day. "And they are going to do something to ensure that it doesn't happen again."