Coroner finds manifesto on UC Merced stabbing suspect

ByReggie Aqui and ABC7 staff KGO logo
Friday, November 6, 2015
Coroner finds manifesto on UC Merced stabbing suspect
The Merced County Sheriff's Office said the coroner was performing an autopsy and found the suspect's manifesto on him.

MERCED, Calif. (KGO) -- UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland says personal animosities, not a political agenda, motivated 18-year-old Faisal Mohammad from Santa Clara in Wednesday's multiple stabbings on the school's campus. Authorities say the stabbing of four people at UC Merced was not related to terrorism.

The Merced County Sheriff's Office said the coroner was performing an autopsy and found the suspects manifesto in his pocket. Police say that two-page, handwritten note was a step-by-step guide of how he wanted the attack on UC Merced's campus to happen. He even wrote out dialogue and specific timing of the events.

According to the sheriff, the suspect intended to shoot people, attack a police officer and had a specific target in mind who had kicked him out of a study group. The suspect listed the students he wanted to hurt and had planned to zip tie students to desks and draw out police so he could steal their gun. The first student he stabbed was one of the names listed.

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said this is not terrorism, just a step above a high school grudge. He said, "We had an upset teenager that was upset because he got kicked out of a study group."

The bomb squad recovered Mohammad's backpack, which contained zip ties, a night vision scope and duct tape. Mohammad also had petroleum jelly which Warnke said he wanted to "squirt the petroleum jelly on the floor as kind of a slip and slide."

Warnke created a far-fetched plan to trip officers, but didn't get to try it out because a construction worker interrupted him.

"I went to open the door to break it up, and see if everybody was OK and they all scream 'Run!'" stabbing victim Byron Price said.

Shortly after that, police shot and killed the 18-year-old. The sheriff estimates the whole thing took under two minutes.

The knife blade used in the attack was 8-10 inches long, but all four victims are expected to recover.

Warnke says there was nothing to indicate Mohammad would lash out violently.

Mohammad graduated form Wilcox High School in Santa Clara last year and was a current freshman Computer Science and Engineering major at UC Merced.

The Santa Clara Unified School District learned of the devastating news Thursday morning and are now trying to take care of the needs of the staff and students who are also in shock.

PHOTOS: Investigation underway after four stabbed at UC Merced

"It's really scary to know because I have a brother who goes here. It's just scary because anything can happen," said a former Wilcoxn student.

Counselors are being made available on campus.

Dana Adame says her nephew knew of Mohammad. "He didn't stand out at all with anyone. He was just quiet. Never mean. He just kept to himself," she said.

One of the suspect's four roommates, freshman Andrew Velasquez, was in his room when police raided the place. Cops told him to leave.

Velasquez says Mohammad didn't talk much and described him as anti-social.

"Every time I would try and say something, he would just ignore it. I never saw him walk with anybody," said Velasquez.

The attack is under investigation by the UC Merced Police Department with the assistance of other major agencies, including the FBI and the sheriff's office. The sheriff's office is overseeing the investigation of the officer-involved shooting.

The incident began shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday in a classroom in the Classroom and Office Building. Investigators say Mohammad pulled a knife and then took his attack outside. The suspect fled the scene and was pursued by campus police before being fatally shot.

The four victims involved were two UC Merced students, one staff member and one construction worker.

As of Thursday morning, one student remains hospitalized but is expected to recover, and the other student was treated and released. The staff member, Danielle Quiroga, suffered a collapsed lung and was recovering Thursday after successful surgery. The construction worker was treated and released Wednesday.

Quiroga's sister, Sarah, said "She's doing a lot better, she's on the mend. She's a strong person so we're happy about that."

Stabbings involving multiple victims on college campuses have not raised as much alarm as mass shootings, since the attacks do not usually result in as many deaths or injuries. Several U.S. colleges have been the site of violent attacks involving bladed weapons.

A student at Morgan State University in Maryland was charged in March with slashing two other students with a pocket knife outside a campus dining hall. In 2013, a 20-year-old student at a Texas community college wounded at least 14 people during a building-to-building attack.

The campus with about 6,000 students in the city of Merced opened a decade ago and is the newest one in the University of California system.

It was erected in the state's farm belt in response to the burgeoning enrollment in the nine other University of California campuses. Regents also felt the mainly agricultural region was unrepresented by higher education.

Applications to University of California campuses are due at the end of November. Leland sought to reassure families that their children would be safe if they ended up at UC Merced, which she said "may still be small in its study body, but is large in its sense of community."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.