Student suspect fatally shot after stabbing four at UC Merced

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MERCED, Cali. — A male student at University of California, Merced, stabbed four people as classes began Wednesday morning before campus police fatally shot him, a school spokesman said.

Two of those stabbed were transported for treatment via helicopter, the school said on Twitter, while the two others were treated on campus.

“All conscious,” the university tweeted about the victims.

The attacker was a California resident who was living on campus, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said. The victims were identified as two students, a staff member and a contract employee at the school.

Authorities have not released a motive and it’s not known what relationship, if any, existed between the assailant and the victims, said James Leonard, a school spokesman.

Warnke said the attacker entered a classroom at about 8 a.m. carrying a hunting knife with an 8-inch to 10-inch blade and stabbed one of the students.

The contract worker, thinking it was a fight, went into the classroom and “ended up stumbling upon the stabbing in progress. I think, through his actions, that he ended up saving this student’s life,” Warnke said.

Outside the classroom, the suspect attacked a female staff member and slightly injured the second student, Warnke said.

The suspect fled the building and was chased by two police officers, said UC Merced Police Chief Al Vasquez.

“When the suspect turned toward the officer, an officer-involved shooting occurred and the suspect succumbed to his injuries,” Vasquez said.

Warnke said the bomb squad was called as a precaution because the suspect carried a backpack.

“Events like this happen elsewhere, but not at UC Merced, which may be still small in student body but large in its sense of community — yet, it has happened,” Chancellor Dorothy Leland said in a statement on the school webpage. She said the injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Merced is about 130 miles southeast of San Francisco.

The school initially reported five people were stabbed, but later said the figure was four, said Lorena Anderson, a school spokeswoman. The school first said all of the victims were students, but later said that not all of them were students.

The school Twitter page said that classes would not be held Thursday.

13 comments

  • bds

    Oh my. What are we to do? I know! I’ll use “logic” and “reason” to come to the conclusion that we need to make all campuses knife free zones. That should solve everything, right?

  • R

    WE NEED TO CRACK DOWN ON THESE TACTICAL ASSAULT KNIVES. NO knife should be transferred between people without a government approved background check. NO KNIFE should be over 5″ in length, that is the sporting length for hunting game and fishing. NO KNIFE should have a sharpness measured more than .355 at the tip. That’s overly aggressive and dangerous. EVERY SINGLE KNIFE SHOULD HAVE A BIOMETRIC FINGERPRINT IDENTIFIER SO THE BLADE ONLY EXTENDS FOR THE OWNER.

  • bds

    Everyone please listen. I believe I’ve found the root cause of these tragic knife attacks. Clearly it’s all those cooking shows. They CHOP and HACK away so callously that the children watching can’t help but be mesmerized by their actions. We need to ban cooking shows. Now! FOR THE CHILDREN!!! Can I get an amen…or is asking for one not pc nowadays?

  • CYNIC

    Which CA lib law would have stopped this? Let’s see:
    Gun background checks? No.
    Ammo background checks? No.
    Mag capacity limit? No.
    Lead free bullets? No.
    Registration? No.
    Permit to purchase guns or ammo? No.

    Looks like the only thing that stopped this attack from continuing was a good guy with a gun. It’s like deja vu all over again.

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