4 Stabbed at UC Merced, Suspect Shot by Campus Police
Two of the victims were airlifted to the hospital and classes have been cancelled for the day.
UPDATE (Nov. 6): Authorities now believe that the motive for Wednesday’s UC Merced stabbing spree was revenge for being barred from a study group. A two-page “manifesto” was found on the attacker’s body, indicating the 18-year-old UC Merced freshman responsible for the attack planned to kill several of his classmates because he was angry for being kicked out of the group, although the note didn’t indicate why he was excluded, reports the Associated Press.
Authorities say the suspect wanted to use plastic ties to bind the hands of his classmates to their desks. Then he would call law enforcement, ambush officers with a hunting knife and steal their guns. He then would shoot the students listed on his manifesto.
Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke doesn’t believe the attacker had the ability to fully carry out his plan. Warnke also doesn’t believe the attack was motivated by religion or terrorism.
Yesterday, Fox News reported that a Twitter account associated with ISIS praised the attack and only a week before had urged lone-actor knife attacks. Warnke says, however, that the attacker was motivated by anger over being excluded from a study group. Investigators also didn’t find any evidence of mental illness.
After stabbing four victims, the attacker was pursued and fatally shot by a UC Merced police officer. According to a witness to the shooting, the officer “was in the right” when he shot the suspect, reports the Fresno Bee.
Meghan Christopherson,19, told the news source that the officer kept telling the attacker to put his weapon down, get on the ground and put his hand up, but the suspect kept moving towards the officer. “He would take one step forward, and the officer would take one step back,” she told the Fresno Bee.
UPDATE (Nov. 5): The suspect has been identified as 18-year-old UC Merced computer science and engineering student Faisal Mohammad, who his roommate claims was quiet and kept to himself, reports ABC30. Authorities still haven’t identified the motive for the stabbings.
FRESNO, Calif.—Four people on the campus of the University of California Merced (UC Merced) were stabbed Wednesday morning, and the suspected male attacker was shot and killed by UC Police. Originally, CS reported that five people were stabbed, but that number has been revised.
The incident occurred around 8 a.m. in front of the Classroom and Office building, according to the school’s emergency preparedness website. Shortly after the stabbings, two UC Merced Police officers responded to the scene. UC Merced PD Chief Albert Vasquez says that when the suspect, who had a hunting knife between eight and ten inches, turned toward the officers, they shot him.
Two of the victims were airlifted to a hospital in Modesto, and two were treated on campus. One of the victims has been identified by the Sacramento Bee as being a 31-year-old construction worker with Artisan Construction. Another victim was a student advisor, while the other two victims are students. All are expected to recover, reports ABC30.
The Sacramento Bee is reporting that the construction workers thought they heard a fight in a classroom near where they were working. One of the workers opened the door and the suspect, who was a male student in his early 20s, lunged at him, which allegedly got the attacker out of the classroom.
CNN reports that the attacker was a California resident living on the UC Merced campus.
The campus was quickly locked down, and the community was notified via Twitter. As a precaution, the bomb squad was deployed to the scene.
The Campus Police Department is investigating the stabbings and the Sheriff’s Office is investigating the officer-involved shooting.
Classes have been canceled for the rest of the day and Thursday, and counselling services are available. Classes will resume on Friday.