Will Co. Landlord Charged With Killing Boy, Wounding Mother For Being Muslim

A landlord in Will County is facing murder and hate crime charges after authorities say he stabbed a six-year-old boy to death and wounded his mother for being Muslim. Deputies were called out Saturday to a home on South Lincoln Highway in Unincorporated Plainfield Township after a woman called 911 claiming her landlord had attacked her with a knife. Deputies located Joseph Czuba sitting outside on the ground with a laceration to his forehead. Authorities then found Wadea Al-Fayoume, and his mother Hanan Shaheen, with stab wounds inside the home. Both were sent to the hospital, where the boy died. Detectives determined that both victims were targeted by Czuba for being Muslim and the on-going Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis.

Will County Sheriff’s press release:

On 10/14/2023 at approximately 11:38 AM, deputies with the Will County Sheriff’s Office were sent to a residence located near the 16200 block of S. Lincoln Highway in Unincorporated Plainfield Township regarding a stabbing that occurred involving a landlord and renter.


When police personnel arrived on scene they located the suspect, Joseph M. Czuba (age 71) of Plainfield sitting upright outside on the ground near the driveway of the residence.  Joseph Czuba had a laceration to his forehead and was later transported to a local area hospital for treatment.


Deputies located two victims inside the residence in a bedroom.  Both victims had multiple stab wounds to their chest, torso, and upper extremities.  Both victims were transported to a local area hospital for treatment.  The thirty-two (32) year-old female was transported in serious condition and had over a dozen stab wounds to her body.  The female victim is recovering from her injuries at a local area hospital and is expected to survive this brutal attack.


It was initially reported to police personnel that the juvenile victim was eight-years-old.  That initial information was incorrect, and juvenile victim is six (6) years-old.  The six-year-old male was transported to the hospital in critical condition.  The boy later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased by a doctor.  On 10/15/2023, an autopsy was conducted on the six-year-old victim.  The forensic pathologist conducting the autopsy removed the knife from the abdomen of the boy at that time.  The six-year-old boy was stabbed twenty-six (26) times throughout his body.  The knife used in this attack is a twelve-inch serrated military style knife that has a seven-inch blade.


The suspect, Joseph M. Czuba, was treated and released from a local area hospital and was transported to the Will County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Complex for questioning by detectives.  Joseph Czuba did not make any statements to detectives regarding his involvement in this heinous attack.  Despite the suspect not providing a statement to detectives, personnel were able to gather enough information through interviews and evidence to formally charge Joseph Czuba with numerous criminal offenses.


Joseph Czuba was charged with First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder, Hate Crime (2 counts), and Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon.  Detectives were able to determine that both victims in this brutal attack were targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the on-going Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis.


The Will County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office for their assistance in working with detectives regarding Joseph Czuba being formally charged in this senseless and cowardly act of violence.  Joseph Czuba was transported to the Will County Adult Detention Facility and is awaiting his initial court appearance.