Following a weeklong stabbing spree that terrified the UC Davis community in Northern California, police have apprehended and charged a 21-year-old former student. Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel stated at a press conference on Thursday that 21-year-old Carlos Dominguez had been a student at the university up until last week.
Two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder were announced by Pytel against Dominguez. Dominguez was a third-year student at UC Davis, according to a statement from the university. On April 25 he was “separated for academic reasons,” per the statement.
Pytel stated that there is no evidence at this time to show that Dominguez knew any of the victims. David Breaux, a beloved local figure known as the “Compassion Guy,” was discovered stabbed to death in Central Park on April 27. This marked the beginning of a string of brutal knife attacks.
Breaux, a Stanford alum who was homeless in Davis, had compiled and published a book of anonymous essays about compassion written by members of the local community. A statement made by the Davis City Council, city manager, and police chief the day following Breaux’s murder noted, “[Breaux] chose Davis as his home to be around people; he touched many lives in our community dedicating his time and energy towards selflessness.”
Pytel said Thursday that no one saw the murder of Breaux take place, leaving investigators with no solid leads. There was another murder two nights later. On his way home after an undergraduate awards ceremony, UC Davis senior Karim Abou Najm, age 20, was stabbed to death in Sycamore Park.
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Najam, a computer science major, was about six weeks away from finishing his degree. “[Najam] was attacked violently and stabbed many times,” Pytel added. The final stages of the attack were witnessed by a person who “had a short interaction” with the suspect, according to the police chief.
The search efforts we undertook turned up nothing, as Pytel put it. The final assault occurred on May 1, two days later. Kimberlee Guillory had her tent slashed when she was camped out with the homeless. According to Pytel, the attacker reached in and began stabbing the victim. Despite being severely injured, the woman managed to phone for help and survive the attack.
It seemed “probable” at that point, Pytel added, that the stabbings were related, but investigators could not rule out the possibility of “several attackers.” The police subsequently provided a description of the suspect as a man with a fair complexion, curly hair, and a slight frame who was last seen carrying a brown rucksack and dressed in a black or blue hoodie and black pants.
More than a dozen witnesses called police on Wednesday after seeing a man matching that description near the Sycamore Park area, where the second incident took place, according to Pytel. A man named Carlos Dominguez. Pytel stated that a member of the public followed Dominguez while he was on the phone with the police, and that patrol officers eventually stopped and arrested him.
According to Pytel, a big hunting knife found in the suspect’s backpack matched the description of the murder weapon. Pytel stated that detectives questioned Dominguez all night long. Pytel claimed that Dominguez had injuries on his hands and wrists from fighting with the victims of the stabbings.
The Davis Police Department did an excellent job, the chief stated, and “no stone was left unturned” in their investigation. After the capture, Mayor Will Arnold commented, “These horrific crimes have resulted in immeasurable loss.”
Davis possesses empathy and a strong feeling of solidarity in the face of tragedy. As a group, we have the ability to bounce back from adversity. David and Karim are in our hearts forever.
“A murderer is off the streets, and our families will sleep easier tonight,” Arnold concluded, “and we will continue to hope and pray that Kim makes a full recovery.” On Thursday, Dominguez was still being held in a facility in Yolo County.
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