Unsolved stabbings in Davis has community on edge; UC Davis makes night classes virtual
DAVIS, Calif. - Three stabbings in the last week is terrorizing a college town after two people were killed and another was critically hurt.
The City of Davis Police Department has not yet linked the crimes and no arrests have been made.
The latest stabbing happened late Monday night. Police said the victim was a homeless woman, 64, who was violently attacked in her tent near 2nd Street and L Street. She remains in critical condition at the hospital.
"It appears that she was inside of her tent and the suspect came up and stabbed her through the sidewall of the tent," Chief Darren Pytel said. "There were many and very significant knife wounds."
That’s worrisome to those who know her and live at encampments nearby, especially with a suspect on the loose.
"It seems like this person is getting a fixation or getting some kind of kick out of what he’s doing," an unhoused resident named Meech said. "That lady, she didn’t do nothing to nobody to deserve to be stabbed."
Investigators have received hundreds of tips after hearing from four witnesses, including the victim, and putting out a description of a potential suspect in Monday’s stabbing, Pytel said.
"The suspect has been described as young and even college aged," he said. "We don’t know whether the suspect is a UC Davis student or not."
It comes two days after another stabbing Saturday night at Sycamore Park. Davis Police said 20-year-old Karim Abou Najm, a UC Davis student, was slain while walking home.
UC Davis Chancellor Gary May said Tuesday every class that ends after 6 p.m. will happen virtually in the wake of the stabbings.
The university is also stepping up its police presence by adding more officers, hiring additional security and expanding its Safe Rides program for students to get to and from classes and activities.
"We are trying really, really hard to allow our students to still come onto campus and do what they’re supposed to do and study but do it in a safe way," UC Davis Police Chief Joseph Farrow said.
So far, all of the attacks have happened off campus.
"The last few days have been shocking and incredibly challenging for our community," Davis Mayor Will Arnold said. "People are scared."
The terror began late last week, when a man later identified as 50-year-old David Breaux, known as the "Compassion Guy" was killed in Central Park.
Investigators said he was stabbed to death near a bench where he often sat and slept.
Many residents tell KTVU he was well-known for being a positive community member who would often ask people what their definition of compassion is.
While it’s not known any the stabbings are linked, police said they’re working on a sketch and hoping to obtain DNA evidence from what was collected at the crime scenes.
The FBI is assisting along with regional law enforcement agencies. The federal Department of Justice is also analyzing evidence at its crime lab.
Police patrols have increased greatly throughout the city and residents are being urged to walk, bike and travel in groups. Officials are also suggesting people stay home at night.
"The city is bringing all possible resources to bear to investigate these crimes, to solve them, to end the violence and to keep our community safe," Arnold said. "One of the most important things we can do as a community is to stay unified."
Brooks Jarosz is an investigative reporter for KTVU. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Facebook and Twitter @BrooksKTVU