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Man who stabbed two near Rockville Metro gets hefty sentence | News

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Man who stabbed two near Rockville Metro gets hefty sentence
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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Silver Spring man who nearly killed two young men near the Rockville Metro Station a little more than a year ago will spend at least the next half-decade behind bars.

Reginald Cooper, 39, was sentenced Monday to 60-years in prison, with 50-years before he can even try for parole.

Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy told WUSA 9 both victims are Hispanic immigrants who were waiting for a bus on their way to a morning English class in December 2014. The two had never met Cooper before he began cursing at them, according to charging documents.

The documents then say Cooper hit one of the victims in the face before stabbing his body with a folding knife, piercing the victim's liver. Cooper attacked the second victim right after and stabbed him in the back. Both men, in their early 20s, were rushed to Suburban Hospital where they were treated for life-threatening injuries.

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Investigators believe drugs fueled the attack more than anything. This is exactly what several riders said they are afraid of outside of the Rockville Metro Station on Monday.

“There’s always people with bad intentions,” is what Maria Bates told WUSA9 in Spanish. While discussing the news of the sentencing, the Montgomery County woman said she’s not concerned about being targeted because she’s Hispanic. She’s more afraid of random attacks or violence.  

“That's a good amount of time, Yeah. Two people, yeah. It's worth it,” said Lajonne Hamilton who just got off a Metro Bus, “You know, maybe it'll click into other people's minds you know, justice is done."

Hamilton was among several riders celebrating Monday’s sentence.

“It definitely shows how important our police forces are and how well they work to protect us,” said an area student using Metro, Justus McMillan.

“This is literally across the street from where I work every day. So I mean I can look out my window and I can see where this took place, and I use that metro station often when I travel to Washington D.C.,” McCarthy said very passionately after sentencing. He also applauded station surveillance cameras, noting that while they did not prevent the crime they did help catch Cooper.

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A massive manhunt during the morning rush hour followed the double stabbing. Metro transit police used surveillance footage to quickly disseminate photos of the suspect, who was recognized by another police agency. 

Joseph Thomas wishes there were more cameras and more police at Metro stations, otherwise he said, "It's a dog-eat-dog world out here. It's like a jungle, you got to watch your back at all times.”

Authorities say Cooper has a significant amount of prior charges that include assault and robbery. He also spent several years of his adult life in prison a previous charge.

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