From the Merced Sun-Star
By Rob Parsons
The UC Merced student who wounded four people in a stabbing spree at the campus has been identified as Faisal Mohammad, a freshman student from Santa Clara.
Merced Couty Sheriff Vern Warnke confirmed the identity of the 18-year-old Computer Science and Engineering major to the Sun-Star early Thursday.
Mohammad was shot and killed by UC Merced police just after 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning as he ran from the two-story classroom building where investigators said his violent spree began.
Warnke said investigators, including the FBI, were still trying to determine the motive for Mohammad’s attack, which wounded two students, a female student advisor and a construction worker who was on campus for a remodeling project. The four suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
As of Thursday morning, one student remained hospitalized but was expected to recover and the other student was released after being treated, according to a statement from university spokeswoman Lorena Anderson. The student advisor, a member of the UC Merced staff, suffered a collapsed lung and was recovering Thursday after successful surgery, she said.
Little information about Mohammad was immediately available, other than he turned 18 in late October. The university said more details would be released at a press conference led by the sheriff’s office Thursday at 10:30 a.m.. The Sun-Star will livestream the conference on its Periscope account.
Investigators believe Mohammad was armed with a large hunting knife when he entered a second-floor classroom as class was starting Wednesday and struggled with a male student, who was stabbed.
Byron Price, a 31-year-old construction worker, was leading a crew in a nearby room when he heard the commotion and went to intervene. Warnke described Price’s actions as heroic.
“Without him, the first victim could have been a lot worse off, or even dead,” he said.
Price drew the suspect’s attention and was slashed around the waist during the confrontation. Price’s co-workers drove him to Mercy Medical Center where he was treated and later released.
Detectives believe Mohammad then left the building and stabbed another male student outside. He then found the student advisor sitting on a bench and stabbed her twice, officials said.
Other than Price, the names of the victims have not been released.
Two university police officers chased Mohammad to a bridge on the campus, where he was shot and killed. The identities of those officers have not been released. One of the officers was placed on an automatic three-day leave from the department, a standard protocol in officer-involved shootings.
The FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security are involved in the investigation.
Classes at the campus northeast of Merced were canceled Thursday. Chancellor Dorothy Leland said activities on the campus would resume Friday.
This story will be updated as soon as more information becomes available.