UC Davis on edge in wake of three stabbings in city in one week that killed college senior, beloved homeless man

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(DAVIS, Calif.) — The UC Davis community is on edge in the wake of three stabbings — two of them fatal — within one week in Davis, California.

The most recent stabbing took place at about 11:45 p.m. Monday at a transient camp in Davis, about 15 miles west of Sacramento. A woman said the suspect stabbed her multiple times through her tent, according to Davis police. She’s been hospitalized in critical condition, police said.

UC Davis said it issued “a campus WarnMe message” around 1 a.m. Tuesday. The city initiated a “shelter in place” order overnight that was lifted several hours later.

“The suspect matches the description of previous stabbing incidents,” UC Davis said in a statement. “He is described as a male wearing all dark clothing, possibly a blue shirt and jeans, carrying a black backpack and wearing black Adidas shoes with stripes.”

Just days earlier, around 9:15 p.m. Saturday, UC Davis senior Karim Abou Najm, a 20-year-old computer science major, was stabbed to death at Davis’ Sycamore Park, according to the university and police.

“I am simply devastated,” UC Davis Chancellor Gary May tweeted. “By all accounts, he was an exceptional student, son and friend.”

May added, “I know many of you are frightened by what’s happened, especially so quickly after the stabbing incident that occurred on Thursday in Davis’ Central Park.”

On Thursday, David Breaux, a homeless man who was a staple in Davis, was stabbed multiple times and killed in the city’s Central Park, according to police.

Breaux dedicated his life to compassion and restorative justice, and was a beloved presence in Davis, friends said at a vigil this weekend. The Davis community had worked together to build a bench, dubbed The Compassion Bench, for Breaux to have a place to sit and talk with Davis residents about what compassion meant to them, mourners said. Breaux kept notes and turned those conversations into a book, they said.

The chancellor said in his statement, “Like so many of you, I am grieving the death of David Henry Breaux, known as the ‘Compassion Guy.’ … David led a life with real purpose, to connecting humanity for the greater good, something we should all aspire to do.”

As the search for a suspect continues, Davis police said Tuesday morning that “officers will continue to heavily patrol the area” and residents should be mindful of their surroundings.

“If you must be out at night, consider traveling in groups, and report suspicious activity to the Davis Police Department by calling 530-747-5400, emailing [email protected], or if you would like to remain anonymous, call our tip line at 530-747-5460,” police said.

UC Davis said it’s expanded the hours available for safe rides from campus to off-campus locations.

ABC News’ Dea Athon contributed to this report.

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