Assailant killed by police after stabbing five on UC Merced campus – Los Angeles Times
Police at UC Merced shot and killed a male student Wednesday after he went on a stabbing rampage and wounded five people, including four other students, authorities said.
The attack began before 8 a.m. inside the Classroom and Office Building near the center of campus and spread to outside the building before the man was killed by officers on a pedestrian bridge connecting the campus’ two halves, officials said.
The campus was closed after the attack, and school officials have offered counseling to those who need it and shuttles to people who need transportation.
“I can tell you that we’re really shocked and saddened by this,” said Lorena Anderson, a school spokeswoman.“We’re doing everything we can to contact family and parents to make sure everyone here is safe and secure.”
Among the victims was a 31-year-old employee with Artisan Construction who was working with two colleagues on a renovation project in the building where the attack began, the Merced Sun-Star reported.
Artisan Chief Executive John Price told the Sun-Star that his son, Byron Price, heard what sounded like a fight in a classroom and when he opened the door to investigate, the assailant lunged at him.
“It got the [attacker] outside the room, away from others,” Price told the Sun-Star. Byron Price is expected to survive, the paper reported.
Two of the five victims were airlifted to hospitals and all were conscious, according to the school.
Anderson said the crime scene included the building, “the whole center of campus,” and the pedestrian bridge across a canal that divides the campus in two.
Daniel Garcia-Ceja said he was walking to class Wednesday morning and ran into a police barricade at the Scholars Lane Bridge.
Garcia-Ceja, 21, said friends who were in the area at the time told hime that a person with a knife was shot and killed on the bridge. They said they saw the assailant approaching students with a knife.
“Some of my friends wanted to cry. Some were upset. Some were in shock. It was insane to hear that this happened in general,” Garcia-Ceja said. “You know it’s happened at other universities, and you know schools have been through these situations … but I don’t think anybody would have assumed it would happen here. We knew it could happen, but nobody thought it would.”
Garcia-Ceja had a morning class at the Classroom and Office Building. He described it as a large lecture hall with a mixture of classrooms.
He usually comes to class an hour early to study for quizzes but slept in on Wednesday. He would have been at the building at the time of the attack had he followed his normal routine, he said.
Garcia-Ceja said the campus was largely on lockdown and that students were gathered in small groups talking about the stabbing, trying to figure out what had happened. Like many others, he turned to social media to try to get updates, he said, but there was a lot of confusion.
His brother, Martin Garcia-Ceja, who graduated from the college in 2014, said there was a stabbing on campus a few years ago that was believed to be gang-related. He said he was at a friend’s dorm when another student ran past, bleeding. The campus was shut down and the suspect was apprehended, but there wasn’t a lot of talk about it afterward.
Martin Garcia-Ceja, 23, of Ontario, said the campus was very open and easy for both students and nonstudents to access.
“We were told our campus was safe, that security was everywhere, but no one really knew,” he said. “We were under the impression that we were always safe, but when that [prior stabbing] occurred, we understood that maybe we should take more serious precautions.”
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