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A student at University of California Merced yesterday stabbed four people on campus with a hunting knife, the Los Angeles Times reports. A construction worker heard a fight in a nearby classroom and went to stop it, only to find that a student had already been stabbed and that he would be next.
The construction worker, Byron Price, chased the assailant out of the building. Reportedly the student tried stabbing people as he ran, and managed to hurt two more before he was stopped. Two campus police officers chased and shot him to death on a pedestrian bridge on campus, according to UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland.
Are the Students Safe?
Leland told reporters that students tried to administer first aid to the wounded, and generally behaved admirably on a "sad and tragic day." None of the victims appear to have life-threatening injuries, she said.
Both our police and students acted in a way that would make all of us very proud," Leland said. "This was a tragic event, but the person who caused this event will no longer be able to cause an event like this in the future. The children are safe here."
The campus is closed for investigation and much of it is a crime scene. Authroities have yet to establish the student's motive for the stabbings. Police are conducting interviews with students and faculty.
No Known Motive
An 8-10-inch, fixed-blade hunting knife was found near the suspect's body, and he was carrying a backpack, according to the sheriff. His room will be searched and the FBI is involved in the investigation. There is no known motive for his actions as yet.
Described as a California resident from outside Merced County who lived on campus, he seems to have no criminal record, authorities say. The Sheriff's Department reportedly had no prior contact with him.
Shock on Campus
"I can tell you that we're really shocked and saddened by this," Lorena Anderson, a school spokeswoman, told reporters. "We're small," she said. "A lot of us know each other really well. It's shocking. You hear about it at other places and you hope to God it's not going to happen on our campus."