A student at UC Merced was fatally shot by police after stabbing and wounding five people with a butcher knife, three or four of whom were students and two of whom were flown to hospitals by medical helicopter. The victims are all currently in stable condition, but one of the victims told CBS News that in retrospect he wishes he had been armed with a gun.
The student, identified by campus authorities as 18-year-old Faisal Mohammad, was a first-year engineering student living in a housing complex on campus. His motives are still unknown to the public, as campus police refuse to further discuss details with the public. Fox News reports the student was praised for his actions by ISIS-linked organizations on Twitter.
“May Allah accept him," the tweet read.
One of the victims, 31-year-old contract worker Byron Price, had tried to prevent Mohammad from wounding more students after he heard students screaming in a room near where he was working. Price was stabbed in his left abdomen but may have saved a student’s life, Merced’s County Sheriff Vern Warnke said.
“The contract worker actually went in thinking it was a student fight and ended up stumbling onto the stabbing in progress and I actually think that he threw in his ax and saved this one student’s life,” Warnke said.
Price was interviewed after being released from a local hospital by Joey Horta, a CBS News anchor and the brother of Price’s fiance, Stephanie Horta.
“Inside that room he was shooting fish in a barrel," Price said. "I went to open the door to break it up and see if everybody was ok and they all screamed 'run' when I opened the door.”
Price tried to kick Mohammad before Mohammad managed to push a knife blade deep into Price’s bone. Price’s wound was later treated with nine staples.
“It was hot, really warm,” Price said. “It didn't hurt because there was so much going on.”
Horta reports, “Price says he now thinks differently about having a concealed weapon. He wishes he had one when this all unfolded.”
One of Mohammad’s four roommates, Andrew Velasquez, told ABC30 News that while he would describe Mohammad as “quiet” and “anti-social,” he did not expect that Mohammad would do what he did.
“Price says he now thinks differently about having a concealed weapon. He wishes he had one when this all unfolded.”
Joey Horta, CBS News anchor
Few details have yet been released by the Sheriff’s department on the incident, though an FBI investigation is underway.
Lorainna Anderson, UC Merced public information officer, told The Daily Wire that she and the UC Merced community are still in shock after the incident.
“We don’t know, we’ve never had a situation like this, so we’re waiting for the police department to give us that information once they have that information," Anderson said.
Amber, an employee at the Merced County Sheriff’s department, said more information on the suspect’s affiliations will be released in a press statement later today. Classes are canceled as the investigation is still ongoing, but are expected to resume as usual on Friday.