UC Merced Stabbing Attack: Police Reveal Suspect's Manifesto

| by Jordan Smith
Faisal Mohammad's high school photoFaisal Mohammad's high school photo

The 18-year-old freshman who reportedly stabbed four people at UC Merced Nov. 4 has been identified.

Faisal Mohammad, a computer science and engineering major from Santa Clara, California, began his attack in a classroom, where he stabbed two students with a hunting knife before a construction worker intervened, the Daily Mail reports. The construction worker was also stabbed before Mohammad ran downstairs and stabbed a female member of staff.

He was later cornered and shot to death by police.

All four stabbing victims are expected to recover.

Fox News reports that Mohammad started the attack because he was kicked out of a study group, investigators announced on Nov. 5. He originally intended to shoot people, attack a police officer, and then attack a specific person who kicked him out of the study group, according to the manifesto found on his body, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said.

Mohammad planned to accomplish his goal by tying students to desks, which would prompt a police officer to enter the room. He then would squirt petroleum jelly, which was found in his backpack, on the floor. When the police officer slipped and fell, Mohammad would then grab his gun and shoot people.

His plan failed when students fought back, according to Warnke.

During his announcement, Warnke also praised Byron Price, the construction worker whose intervention caused Mohammad to flee the classroom.

“I really believe he's a hero here. I think he prevented this first student from dying,” Warnke said. “The cops on campus, oh my gosh, praise them because they stopped a threat, but this first guy, he stopped a death.”

First-year student Lensy Maravilla told Fox News that she was in a biology class on the same floor as the attack. A female student rushed into the room and “was crying hysterically and came in and said that she had seen somebody get stabbed, or slashed, in the throat and she ran,” Maravilla said.

A Twitter account previously linked to Islamic State (ISIS) propaganda posted a message Nov. 5 in support of Mohammad’s actions.

“May Allah accept him,” it read in Arabic.

Veryan Khan, an analyst with the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC), had no evidence of Mohammad being inspired by ISIS. But he did point to the broader context within which the attack took place.

“Over the past three days, the Islamic State has released nineteen videos encouraging Palestinians stabbing attacks on Israel,” Khan said.

UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland ruled out any connection with ISIS.

“At this point, it would be irresponsible to draw such conclusions based solely on the ethnicity of the suspect,” she said, according to Daily Mail.

“At this point in time, the preliminary evidence suggests that freshman computer science and engineering student Faisal Mohammad of Santa Clara appears to have been motivated by personal animosities, not a political agenda,” Leland added.

Sources: Fox News, Daily Mail / Photo credit: Wilcox High School, UC Merced via Daily Mail