Three individuals were stabbed within a week in a university town in northern California, and two of them died. The community is on edge because of these “violent and brazen” attacks. The attacks began late last week, and authorities have not indicated whether they are looking for a single perpetrator or a cell.
Both victims were young adults; one was homeless and the other was a college student. A homeless woman was reportedly stabbed multiple times while inside her tent in the most recent attack. Davis’s police chief, Darren Pytel, said he had never seen anything like it in his 40 years on the job.
According to Pytel, who spoke at a news conference on Tuesday, “the attacks were particularly violent and brazen,” and the “suspect didn’t seem to care there were several witnesses” who may identify him in the most recent two incidents.
Known for its relaxed atmosphere, bicycle-friendly infrastructure, and the University of California, Davis, which is home to more than 13,000 students, Davis has been rattled by the attacks. “People are scared,” Davis Mayor Will Arnold stated at a press conference on Tuesday.
After the 11.45 p.m. Monday stabbing complaint, police issued a shelter-in-place order. Hours later, after police reported that they still hadn’t located the culprit — a man with long curly hair, a skinny physique, and a brown rucksack — the alert was removed.
According to Pytel, the description was “substantially similar” to those given of the second murder suspect. The FBI, along with other law enforcement organizations, is aiding the Davis PD. Students at the University of California, Davis were up late on Monday night listening to police scanners and discussing the situation online, according to Radhika Gawde, president of the Associated Students.
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“I think I speak for the whole community here when I say we’re devastated by the loss of our peer,” she told the Associated Press. “Our sense of safety has been completely shattered.” She said that around 3,900 pupils, or nearly 90%, claimed they didn’t feel secure going to school during the day.
Gawde and her roommates don’t like being alone, so when their parents ask them to come home, they stay close to campus. Before noon on Thursday, police found a man slumped over a bench in downtown Central Park where he frequently sat or slept, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Pytel said.
The mayor and city council members released a statement saying that the victim, 50-year-old David Henry Breaux, was known as the “Compassion Guy” in the community for more than a decade. Breaux was known to meet others and probe for their thoughts on compassion on a regular basis.
Around 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, a resident heard a commotion and went outside to find a young man at Sycamore Park suffering from multiple stab wounds. Karim Abou Najm, 20, a university student and Davis High School alum, was identified by authorities as the victim.
The woman was stabbed multiple times through her tent on Monday, and the suspect was seen by several individuals at a homeless encampment, according to the police chief. The authorities have not released the woman’s identity, but she is in critical condition at a local hospital.
Davis Lt. Dan Beckwith confirmed that she is in her 60s. Pytel stated that he has reason to assume that all of the attacks took place at night, and he asked locals to remain alert and watchful. The department, he said, is sifting through hundreds of tips for DNA evidence.
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