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Stabbing Attack At UC Merced Not Tied To Terrorism

5:15 p.m. U.C. Merced officials say there is no evidence the stabbing incident yesterday was related to terrorism. 18-year-old freshman Faisal Mohammad of Santa Clara stabbed four people in a classroom. He then ran from the building and was shot and killed by campus police. 

The Merced County Sheriff's Department said during the autopsy of Mohammad, "investigators developed a lead regarding a possible motive."

Classes were closed yesterday and today and are scheduled to reopen tomorrow. The stabbing victims are expected to recover. 

 

4:45 p.m. The Merced County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday, that during  the autopsy of Faisal Mohammad, “investigators developed a lead regarding a possible motive. As leads continue to develop and are confirmed additional information will be released.” 

2:01 p.m. (AP) - Authorities say the stabbing of four people at a California university was not related to terrorism.

UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland said in a statement Thursday that personal animosities, not a political agenda, motivated 18-year-old Faisal Mohammad. She says Mohammad was a student in the class he attacked Wednesday, but authorities didn't know if he targeted someone in particular.

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said at a news conference that a bomb squad recovered Mohammad's backpack, which contained items including petroleum jelly. He described the substance as a "poor man's C-4," a military-grade explosive.

He says there was a handwritten list of items to put in the backpack, and officials recovered them all except for scissors. Police shot and killed Mohammed.

Warnke says there was nothing to indicate Mohammad would lash out violently.

1:05 p.m. - (AP) - A student who shared an on-campus suite with a fellow freshman who stabbed four people at a California university described him as quiet and antisocial.

Andrew Velasquez tells Fresno news station KFSN-TV that he was asleep in his dorm room at the University of California Merced when police burst in Wednesday morning.

Police had shot and killed 18-year-old Faisal Mohammad but were investigating when they went to search the suite shared by four people.

Velasquez says Mohammad would ignore him if he tried to talk to him and never walked to class with anyone.

The four victims are expected to recover.

11:28 a.m. - (AP) -  A victim says the university freshman who stabbed and wounded four people on his California campus attacked with a smile on his face.

Byron Price, the 31-year-old constructor worker credited with saving at least one life by rushing into a classroom, said the attacker approached him with a smile.

Price said told the Merced Sun-Star that it appeared the attacker was having fun. Price said he had a strange look in his eyes and was smiling.

Price says he was stabbed but managed to kick the charging attacker, identified as 18-year-old freshman Faisal Mohammad of Santa Clara, California.

Police shot and killed Mohammad.

Aside from Price, there were three other victims in the attack, including two students and one staff member. Officials said one student remains hospitalized and is expected to recover. The other student was treated and released. The staff member suffered a collapsed lung.

The UC Merced campus will reopen at noon Thursday. The building where the stabbing occurred will remain closed. Classes will resume Friday.

Capital Public Radio Staff contributed to this report.

7:53 a.m. - (AP) - Authorities say the student who stabbed and wounded four people at the University of California, Merced, was an 18-year-old freshman from the San Francisco Bay Area.

University spokesman James Leonard on Thursday identified 18-year-old Faisal Mohammad of Santa Clara, California, as the attacker who burst into a classroom with a hunting knife. He was shot and killed by campus police Wednesday after he ran from the building.

University officials identified Mohammad as a Computer Science & Engineering major. 

Police say Mohammad may have killed his intended target if not for the intervention of a construction worker who ran into the classroom to break up what he thought was a fight.

Leonard said all the victims are expected to recover. Authorities didn't release their names.

Classes are canceled for Thursday, but campus may reopen later in the day.

Original Post: (AP) - Authorities say a building contractor likely saved the life of a UC Merced student who was the first victim of the stabbing attack that has shaken the California campus.

Merced County Sheriff-Coroner Vern Warnke said the contractor rushed into a classroom where he thought he heard fighting and intervened as one male student was stabbing another.

Warnke says the contractor himself was wounded, but that his actions probably prevented the student victim from being injured more seriously.

He says the alleged assailant fled down two flights of stairs and outside, where he stabbed a female student and a female staff member.

He says the suspect was shot and killed by police about 35 or 40 yards away from the Classroom and Office Building.