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UPDATE: Sheriff IDs Suspect; Victims Expected to Recover

November 5, 2015

Update, 10:40 a.m. Nov. 5: The UC Merced campus — except for the Classroom and Office Building (COB) — will reopen today at noon so that faculty and staff can access their offices to conduct crucial businesses. (Faculty members who must gain access to COB today must request a police escort.) However, classes remain canceled today and essential campus services (except for dining and recreation) will remain closed until tomorrow. Classes will resume tomorrow.

Original release:

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed the identity of the male student who stabbed four people on the University of California, Merced, campus Wednesday morning.

Sheriff Vern Warnke identified the suspect as Faisal Mohammad, 18, a freshman Computer Science & Engineering major from Santa Clara. The attack is under investigation by the UC Merced Police Department with the assistance of other major agencies, including the FBI and the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s office is overseeing the investigation of the officer-involved shooting.

The four victims included two students, one staff member and one construction worker. As of Thursday morning, one student remains hospitalized but is expected to recover, and the other student was treated and released. The staff member suffered a collapsed lung and was recovering Thursday after successful surgery. The construction worker was treated and released Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office has scheduled a press conference for 10:30 a.m. today, Nov. 5, at 700 W. 22nd St. in Merced. The conference will include the formal release of the suspect’s name and developing facts in the case.

The incident began shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday in a classroom in the Classroom and Office Building. The suspect fled the scene and was pursued by campus police before being shot.

The campus was closed for the day and all classes were canceled. Students, faculty and staff were not evacuated but were allowed to leave campus, and bus transportation was provided to help get people off campus. Tuolumne Hall, one of the campus’s residence halls, was later evacuated as the crime scene was expanded during the investigation. Students have been allowed back into the residence hall.

Classes are canceled for Thursday, Nov. 5. The campus remains closed but may reopen today, and counseling services will remain available. Additional information will be reported as it is confirmed. Visit emergency.ucmerced.edu or call 866-993-0969 for more information.

In times of crisis, the university provides a number of resources for students, faculty and staff. Counseling is available through Counseling & Psychological Services 24 hours a day — call 209-228-4266 to schedule an appointment or to talk with a counselor over the phone.

Our first concern is for (the victims’) full recovery,” Chancellor Dorothy Leland said Wednesday. “But I am equally concerned for the many witnesses and other members of the campus community who have been deeply traumatized by this event and are receiving counseling. We will continue to be offering counseling services in the days and weeks ahead.”

James Leonard

Executive Director of Public Relations

Office: (209) 228-4408

Mobile: (209) 681-1061

jleonard3@ucmerced.edu