Police Department Identify Suspect in UC Merced Stabbing

A UC Merced freshman stabbed and injured three students and a construction worker on Wednesday before being fatally shot by local police officials. According to the Merced County sheriff, 18-year-old Faisal Mohammad executed the attack after being kicked out of a study group.

Officials said on Thursday that Mohammad had written a two-page-long script containing extensive plans detailing how he would carry out the incident. Additionally, he was carrying suspicious items in his backpack, such as zip ties, petroleum jelly and duct tape.

“[Mohammad] talked about taking the students and handcuffing them…having them zip tie [their] own hands,” Sheriff Vern Warnke told the press on Thursday. “His intention for the petroleum jelly was…to squirt [it] on the floor as a kind of Slip ‘n Slide, [creating] an entrance problem for anyone who got that far.”

Warnke added that, according to the script, Mohammad intended to assault a police officer to obtain a gun and inflict life-threatening or fatal injuries upon his targets. The four victims of the attack were treated for non-life-threatening injuries following the incident. 

UC President Janet Napolitano issued a public statement with her condolences to those affected by Wednesday’s events.

“I am deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy on the University of California’s Merced campus, as are students, faculty and staff across the UC system,” Napolitano said on Thursday. “We sympathize with the stabbing victims and their families, and are grateful that all four individuals who were injured are expected to recover.”

Chairman of the UC Board of Regents Monica Lozano also expressed sympathy for the campus and pointed out that incidences like these lead to an increased sense of unity across the UC system.

“In the wake of the tragic events at UC Merced, we are heartened by the way people have come together across the UC community to support the victims and their families,” Lozano said in the statement. “We, too, stand in support of the victims and their families. Gatherings such as the vigils this week provide the opportunity to express our compassion as a community, to offer gratitude to those who prevented further violence and to remind ourselves, collectively, of the power of our enduring resilience.”