Calif. university slasher was equipped to kill more, police say

From the UK Daily Mail

By Khaleda Rahman and Wills Robinson

The California student who went on a stabbing rampage before being shot dead by police had planned to kill a police officer, steal a gun and shoot the classmates who had kicked him out of a study group.

Faisal Mohammad was 18.

Faisal Mohammad was 18.

Faisal Mohammad, 18, a freshman who majored in computer science and engineering at the University of California, Merced, stabbed four people on Wednesday.

But the teenager, of Santa Clara, California, ‘had far greater intentions to do damage’, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said.

According to a two-page manifesto found stuffed in his pocket during an autopsy on Thursday, Mohammad had a detailed plan of revenge for the students who had expelled him from their group.

Mohammad had been carrying two plastic baggies of petroleum jelly, ziptie handcuffs, night vision goggles, duct tape and a hammer in his backpack when he was shot in the back by officers.

He had planned to hold students hostage by using the plastic ties to bind their hands to their desks during class on Wednesday morning.

Then, he planned to call police with a fake distress call, ambush the responding officers and take their guns.

He intended to squirt the petroleum jelly on the floor to create a slippery surface for anyone entering the classroom.

But his attack on the class was foiled almost immediately and the four people he stabbed with a hunting knife – two students, a staff member and a building contractor - are all expected to recover.

Part of the scene at UC Merced on Wednesday.

Part of the scene at UC Merced on Wednesday.

Sheriff Vern Warnke told a press conference that Mohammad ‘had far greater intentions to do damage’

Sheriff Warnke said the document written by Mohammad discussed his expulsion from the study group and listed the students he sought to harm as well as other violent musings.

Warnke added that although Mohammad made several references to ‘Allah’, he does not believe the attack was connected to religion or terrorism.

Earlier on Thursday, UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland said the attacks were motivated by 'personal animosities' and a 'vendetta', not a political agenda.

Warnke added that Mohammad although detailed plans to wreak havoc, he had little means to carry out his deranged plan.

‘I think he had visions of grandeur,’ Warnke said. ‘He believed he could ambush a police officer and try and get their gun.’

Mohammad had apparently been ‘smiling’ when he used a 10-inch hunting knife to stab two students, a campus construction worker and a female teacher in a terrifying attack that was praised by an ISIS-linked Twitter account.

The student, described as ‘anti-social’ by his roommate, was 'having fun', one victim said, as he slashed the first student in the throat inside a classroom.

When construction worker Byron Price, 31, heard the commotion and intervened, he was stabbed in his left side by Mohammad as he tried to stop the attack.

'He had a smile on his face, he was having fun - which is more what bothers me,' Price told CBS Fresno.  

Sheriff Vern Warnke said that Price's entrance into the classroom likely prevented the death of the first victim who was attacked.

'I just kind of kicked at him,' Price added. 'It was a really big knife and he was swinging it down so I figured if I was on the ground and my feet were at him, he could get my legs and not my body. And it.

He also revealed that he drove himself to hospital despite his injuries and received nine staples. He is now at home with his children and fiancée. 

After being disturbed by Price, Mohammad is understood to have fled down two flights of stairs and outside, where he stabbed a female student and a female staff member.

The suspect was then shot and killed by police about 35 or 40 yards away from the classroom. 

The attack drew praise Thursday from a Twitter account associated with the Islamic State, Fox News reported. 

'May Allah accept him,' read the tweet in Arabic just minutes after Mohammad's name was divulged by campus authorities.

Last week the same account released a series of videos calling for lone wolf stabbing attacks.

However, the college moved to rule out a political motive on Wednesday. 

UC Merced Chancellor Dorthy Leland said: '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.'

Sheriff Vern Warnke added that it was an 'act of an individual for a vendetta... nothing to indicate there was any political or religious motivation.' 

Jennifer Derico, a spokesman for the Santa Clara School District said: 'This news comes as a shock to our entire community. Counselors are available to our students and staff to help them process this information in a supportive way.' 

Andrew Velasquez, who lived alongside him in the college dorms, told ABC30 Mohammad, who graduated from Wilcox High in Santa Clara six months ago, was anti-social and was always alone on campus.

He said: 'He didn't talk much. And I never saw him walk with anybody. Walking to class, I never saw him walk with anybody.

'Every time I would try and say something he would just ignore it.' 

One student told the student newspaper The Prodigy, that he was rarely ever in his room.  

Kristen Halliday, a UC Merced freshman, told the station that she and a group of friends were trapped in their dorm room above the scene and saw the bomb squad arrive.

'They did detonate something. We heard the sirens and then they said: "Fire in the hole", and then it detonated.'

First-year student Lensy Maravilla, 19, told Fox News she was in a biology class when a female student ran in.

Maravilla said the student 'was crying hysterically and came in and said that she had seen somebody get stabbed, or slashed, in the throat and she ran.' 

Police canceled classes on Thursday so they could continue their investigation. 

During a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, Sheriff-Coroner Vern Warnke said that the weapon used in the stabbings was a hunting knife between 8 and 10 inches long.

The university said that two students, one staff member and a vendor were wounded but were expected to recover. Two of the victims were airlifted to specific hospitals for treatment.

As of Thursday morning, one student remains hospitalized but officials believe they will be fine. One other student was treated and released. 

The staff member who suffered a collapsed lung was recovering Thursday after successful surgery. 

The university's chancellor Dorothy Leland said the stabbings were a troubling act of violence that had left the rural campus shaken.

She said she is thankful that wounds suffered by the victims do not appear to be life-threatening. 

Student Alex Lopez, 21, had been heading to class when he realized something was wrong on campus.

'I was listening to a podcast, and there was a break in talking, and I just hear a gunshot,' he said.

He said police and first responders flooded the scene.

'You see this stuff all over the news and stuff and you see it happen to all these other schools,' but you don't expect it to happen at your school, he said.

The university, which opened in 2005, has about 6,500 students enrolled and is 120 miles south of Sacramento in the city of Merced.

The campus was the first new one built in California since 1965.

2015 has seen a worrying number of serious attacks on US college campuses.

A shooting on October 1 at a rural community college in Oregon left eight students, a professor and the gunman dead. 


Published on by Admin. Source.