Skip to content

Statement From Chancellor Leland on Stabbing Incident

November 5, 2015

UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland issued the following message to the campus community in the wake of yesterday’s stabbing incident on the UC Merced campus:

We are in the preliminary stages of our inquiry, but based on the evidence gathered so far, including at the crime scene and at the suspect’s campus dormitory room, we have no reason to believe that this was in any way related to terrorism.

At this point, it would be irresponsible to draw such conclusions based solely on the ethnicity of the suspect.

At this point in time, the preliminary evidence suggests that freshman computer science and engineering student Faisal Mohammad of Santa Clara appears to have been motivated by personal animosities, not a political agenda.

If not for the prompt action of a contract employee, our students and then by campus police, we might have faced far greater injury.

Based on eyewitness accounts, students in the classroom played pivotal roles not only in alerting police and thwarting further attacks but also in providing first aid to the initial victims.

While classes are canceled for today, the campus reopened at noon so that faculty and staff could return for critical business. The campus also resumed dining operations and opened its recreation center for the benefit of on-campus students. Full operations will resume on Friday.

Meanwhile, we have brought in resources from across the University of California system to provide counseling to our students, faculty and staff. No one in our campus community has been untouched by this tragic event. But we are a close-knit campus, and we are helping each other through this difficult time.

I am touched by the outpouring of support from across the nation, but in particular the Merced community. Thank you.

But I also want to call out our students. They have rallied together, are helping each other, and have even organized a vigil for tomorrow night to reclaim the Scholars Lane Bridge that is such an important symbol of our community.”