CLIFTON — A 24-year-old man is accused of trying to stab a female store clerk to death, in what authorities said was a bias attack.

On Friday, Shairo Gil, of Clifton, walked into Barrales Grocery store along Main Avenue, where he pulled out a knife and tried to stab a woman in the chest, according to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.

Investigators said Gil was purposely targeting any individual of Mexican descent, which they said is why he chose the store clerk, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes said.

Gil was arrested and charged with attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and first-degree bias intimidation.

If Gil is convicted of the bias crime charge, he faces up to 30 years in state prison. Attempted murder is a first-degree crime and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, while the other counts he is faced with each carry potential prison time, as well.

Gil was taken to Passaic County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Anyone with additional information about the incident can contact the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or tips@passaiccountynj.org

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