An unidentified attacker stabbed four people at the UC Merced campus around 8 a.m. Nov. 4, police say. The attacker was fatally shot by police.
The incident began when an altercation broke out in a second floor classroom, the Merced Sun Star reported.
The attacker stabbed one student in the classroom before Byron Price, a construction worker, tried to intervene and was also stabbed, authorities said.
“They heard a scuffle in the classroom right across from where they were working and it sounded like a fight. So [my son] opened the door and the guy lunged at him,” John Price told the Sun Star. “It got the [attacker] outside the room, away from others.”
The attacker then stabbed another student outside the classroom before proceeding downstairs and stabbing a female university employee sitting on a bench.
University police subsequently confronted the male suspect and shot him dead.
Two of the victims were flown to hospital by helicopter, while the others were treated locally, according to university spokeswoman Lorena Anderson.
None of the injuries were life threatening, Anderson added.
Keith Dick, father of Justin Dick, a 20-year-old computer science major at Merced, told the Sacramento Bee that his son witnessed the incident.
“He said there was some scuffle and everybody started getting stabbed,” he said. “He said he saw everything, including the police officer kill the guy. He is pretty torn up.”
The university campus, located in a rural setting, has been closed for Nov. 4 and 5 due to a police lockdown. Many students staying on campus left to go home Nov. 4.
“It happened in our writing classroom where we were supposed to be later today,” Nohely Alcala, an 18-year-old freshman, said. “That freaks us out.”
The stabbings at UC Merced are the latest in a series of violent acts at campuses nationwide. In California specifically, a man was shot to death on the Sacramento City College Campus Sept. 3, and six students died near the UC Santa Barbara campus in 2014 following shootings and stabbings by Elliot Rodger.