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Davis, California residents on edge after a week of fatal stabbings

The first stabbing took place last week in the city's Central Park, where a 50-year-old man was found dead with multiple wounds.

Published: May 3, 2023 3:59pm

Residents of a small Northern California college town are rattled after three stabbings, including two fatal ones, in the span of a week.  

The first stabbing occurred Thursday in the city's Central Park.

A 50-year-old man was found dead with multiple stab wounds in the city's Central Park.

Two days later, a University of California, Davis, student was fatally stabbed near Sycamore Park. 

The most recent attack was on Monday night, severely injuring a woman sleeping in a homeless encampment.

The woman was reported knifed several times though her tent. The unidentified woman is in her 60s, and is now hospitalized and in critical condition, according to police.

"This is different, and the attacks were particularly violent and brazen,” Davis Police Chief Pytel said at a Tuesday press conference. 

Pytel also said the suspect "didn’t seem to care there were several witnesses."

Davis is a small city of nearly 70,000 residents and an additional 13,000 students who live on campus.

It’s known for its bicycle friendly infrastructure and for being home to the university.

A shelter in place order was issued shortly after Monday’s stabbing was reported at 11:45 p.m. Police lifted the order hours later, though they had not caught the suspect, who is described as a male with long curly hair, a thin build and carrying a brown backpack. His race is unknown. 

The first death, reported Thursday, was of a beloved community member David Henry Breaux.

He was a regular fixture of the downtown area at Central Park for at least the last decade.

He was known as the "Compassion Guy" and would often wave and greet people, asking them to share their views on compassion, according to the press release. 

The second fatal stabbing occurred Saturday.

A resident heard a disturbance by Sycamore Park and went outside to find a young man with multiple stab wounds.

The victim was identified as Karim Abou Najm, 20, a UC Davis student. He was a senior computer science student and researcher, expected to graduate this spring. 

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