The University of California, Davis announced heightened security measures following a string of recent stabbings, two of which have been fatal.
Three separate stabbings have occurred near the university in the past week, prompting new efforts to ensure the safety of students and faculty. The latest stabbing occurred late Monday night, when a “female victim” was stabbed in the area of 2nd Street and L Street, just blocks from the campus, according to a statement released by the university.
The victim told authorities she was stabbed multiple times through a tent, and she was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in critical condition, Davis police said in a statement.
The most recent stabbing came after the university announced new safety measures. Following two earlier stabbings, the campus police have deployed extra private security on campus starting Monday night. They have also added personnel and vans to their after-hours transport service, the university said.
Students were urged to shelter in place following the stabbing. A university spokesperson told Newsweek that more updates are expected later Tuesday.
The stabbings began on Thursday, when 50-year-old David Breaux was stabbed in Central Park, according to local television news station KCRA-TV. Breaux was known for frequenting the park and asking residents about their ideas of compassion.
Davis Mayor Will Arnold paid tribute to Breaux in a statement.
“Many of us knew David. We talked with him. We shared in his vision for a kinder world. We connected on what it means to be human and humane. David was gentle and kind, soft-spoken and thoughtful, brilliant and selfless. He will be missed,” he wrote.
Just days later, a 20-year-old UC Davis student was fatally stabbed at another nearby park. Karim Abou Najm was killed Saturday night at Sycamore Park, north of the university campus. His father, Majdi Abou Najm, told KCRA that he was only six weeks from graduation.
“I want this to be his memory—a bundle of energy, a bundle of positivity,” he said. “Someone who was full of ambition, proud of his roots, who just wanted to make this world a better place.”
Newsweek reached out to the Davis Police Department for comment via email.
Police have not yet identified the suspect in any of the stabbings. UC Davis, in the statement released Tuesday morning, noted that the suspect in the most recent stabbing “matches the description of previous stabbing incidents.”
“He is described as a male wearing all dark clothing, possibly a blue shirt and jeans, carrying a black backpack and wearing black Adidas shoes with stripes. The suspect was last seen running westbound on 3rd Street,” the statement read.
UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May said the stabbings were “deeply unsettling” in a statement released on Sunday.
“We are doing all we can to support our community, including the family,” he wrote. “Our Police Department is collaborating with the city of Davis Police Department to provide all available resources to assist in the search for the suspect or suspects, and to provide extra patrols in the city and on campus.”