5 stabbed, suspect killed at California college

MERCED, Calif. (AP) — An assailant stabbed five people on a rural university campus in central California before police shot and killed him, authorities said Wednesday.

Two of the victims attacked at the University of California, Merced, were taken by helicopter to hospitals for treatment, spokeswoman Lorena Anderson said. The three other victims were treated on campus.

Student Alex Lopez was heading to his 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, said Lopez, 21.

The school remains on lockdown and classes have been canceled for the day. The stabbings occurred in front of the Classroom and Office Building shortly before 8 a.m. PST Wednesday, Anderson said.

The names of the victims and suspect were not released.

The school with more than 6,600 students is about 120 miles south of Sacramento in the farm-rich San Joaquin Valley. The campus in the city of Merced opened a decade ago and is the newest college in the University of California system.

It is the first UC campus built since 1965, the university says on its website.

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