A press conference was held by University of California, Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland, where information was provided to the public about the stabbing incident that occurred on the UC Merced Campus this morning.
“I want to emphasize that there’s a lot of rumors swirling out there and what you’re going to get is what we know at this point in time,” said Chancellor Leland.
UC Merced Chief of Police Albert Vazquez provided a summary of the incident.
“This morning our dispatch was notified of a stabbing incident inside of a classroom,” said Police Chief Vazquez. “As they were gathering their information, the call was put out that the suspect had fled from the classroom wielding a knife and injuring or attempting to injure others on his way out.”
Upon fleeing the building, the suspect was pursued by two police officers. Chief Vasquez stated that the suspect was shot by officers after the suspect turned toward them, and that the suspect eventually succumbed to his injuries.
One student in the classroom was reported to have been stabbed by the suspect, and a contracted worker, upon hearing the commotion, was stabbed as he entered the scene believing the commotion to be a student fight.
After fleeing the classroom, the suspect stabbed another student, and then a staff member.
According to Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke, the suspect used a “fixed bladed hunting style knife” for the stabbings.
The injuries incurred to the victims were not life threatening, and they are expected to recover.
Two of the victims were medevaced to Modesto for treatment, while the others were treated on campus.
Although the suspect has been tentatively identified, that identity will not be released until the next of kin has been reached and notified. However, it was revealed that the stabbing suspect was a young adult, and California resident, who was living on-campus.
“This threat has been neutralized, and the campus is going to return to safety,” stated Chief Vasquez.
Chancellor Leland stated, “There is much that we do not yet know due to an ongoing police investigation which involves our own department as well as many other agencies.”
“As of now, the campus remains on cautionary lockdown as this incident is investigated and will continue to be closed through tomorrow…”
The campus is due to be reopened on Friday.