TARBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – Edgecombe County deputies say hate crime charges are possible in a machete attack on Friday.

The attack happened Friday around 9 a.m. at a house on Carr Farm Road in Macclesfield.

According to deputies, the suspect, identified as Carlos Antonio Washington, was waiting behind the couple’s house and attacked the homeowner once the victim went inside the house.

Deputies said the homeowner fought the suspect off momentarily and deflected the machete. The homeowner’s wife came out with a gun and shot at Washington – ending the attack.

The suspect ran to his car and started to drive on U.S. 258 toward Tarboro, deputies said.

While deputies were on the way to the scene, Deputy A. Lewis located the suspect’s vehicle.

Washington and the couple had no known interactions before.

“It was kind of scary,” said neighbor Dereck Draughon. “Everybody knows one another.”

Washington was not known to authorities before Friday’s attack.

The couple will be OK, deputies said.

Deputies said federal hate crime charges are possible as the suspect is a Black Hebrew Israelite who attacked a white family at random. The Anti-Defamation League said there are many sects. Some are considered extremist and are outspoken anti-Semites and racists. They’re unrelated to the Jewish faith.

Authorities said two people associated with that group were behind the 2019 attack of a kosher market in New Jersey.

Washington was charged with attempted first-degree murder and placed in the Edgecombe County Detention Center under a $2 million secured bond.