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Campus Violence Spiking in America

November 30, 2015

By now most U.S. citizens (and indeed foreigners with even a passing interest in American news), are aware that the country has experienced its fair share of violence on school campuses. And it’s true that most of this mayhem is of the mass shooting variety. However, on November 4th, in the sleepy California agricultural town of Merced, a young man brought a hunting knife to UC Merced and proceeded to assault four people. Here’s everything you need to know about the incident.

The assailant

Authorities have identified the attacker as Faisal Mohammad, 18, from Santa Clara, CA. According to reports, Mohammad was an engineering and computer science major. At the time of this writing, police were still searching for a motive for the attack. What police and several eye-witnesses have confirmed, however, is that Mohammad was carrying a hunting knife with an 8-10-inch blade, which he used to stab four people. Mohammad was eventually shot and killed by campus police after a pursuit.

The victims

Mohammad carried a hunting knife into an 8am class, at which time he proceeded to stab two students. He then stabbed another man who entered the room before running out of the class. Outside of the university, Mohammad stabbed a female member of campus staff who was sitting on a bench. It was at this point campus police arrived and a chase ensued. All four victims are expected to make a full recovery.

The bystander who intervened

The third man who was stabbed in the class has been identified as Byron Price, a construction worker who was remodeling a waiting room located near the classroom. He heard a commotion and entered the classroom, figuring it was a fight. Mohammad engaged Price, who lied on the floor and kicked his legs up in order to avoid the long blade of the knife. Mohammad eventually got frustrated and fled. Witnesses credit Price with helping to prevent the death of one of the victims.

The aftermath

While shaken, community members as well as university staff and faculty are grateful that no lives were lost. As one parent of a UC Merced student put it: “Thank god the guy didn’t have a gun, shooting people, killing them.” It is certainly one consolation. Hopefully the next violent attack on a U.S. college campus—and there will be more—is casualty free as well. But with the proliferation of guns in America, that doesn’t seem likely.