Police arrested a 21-year-old college student in California on Wednesday, bringing a weeklong hunt for a suspected serial stabber to an end.
Fear gripped the town of Davis, home to the University of California, Davis, after two people were killed and another injured in a series of stabbings. The Davis Police Department announced the arrest of a college sophomore in connection with the spate of attacks on Thursday afternoon. The department said 15 tips were called into the police that aided in the arrest.
“This is remarkable,” Police Chief Darren Pytel said in a statement. “Our community should be proud of everyone who stepped up. I do believe they, and all the law enforcement personnel, especially the members of the Davis Police Department, who were involved in this investigation along the way, may have saved more lives.”
Police made the arrest after tipsters reported a wandering around Sycamore Park that matched the description of the suspect. Police located the man close by.
“Located on his person was a large fixed blade knife. Officers and detectives quickly determined that [the suspect] was a ‘person of interest’ in the recent attacks and transported him to the Police Department for further questioning after he consented to their request,” the department said. The suspect “was interviewed at length and officers collected significant evidence from his person including the clothes he was wearing which appeared to be identical to the clothing description provided after the 3rd attack.”
The first fatal stabbing was reported on April 27. Police making a wellness check in the Davis’ Central Park found David Henry Breaux, a 50-year-old homeless man, sitting hunched on a bench with “very significant” stab wounds, Pytel told reporters at the time, according to NBC News.
On April 29, 20-year-old college student Karim Abou Najm was attacked in Sycamore Park. He later died of his injuries. On Monday, a 64-year-old homeless woman was stabbed through her tent. After surgery, she is in stable condition.
Davis Mayor Will Arnold previously said of the three victims that they were attacked with “brutal violence.”
“Their family and loved ones will never be the same. Our entire community will never quite be the same. Our sense of security and normalcy has been fractured. Our sense of identity is being challenged. However, our sense of unity has never been stronger,” Arnold said.