UC Merced student witnesses stabbing suspect attempt to escape

MERCED, Calif. -- A young woman who witnessed Faisel Mohammed trying to escape is telling her story.

Meghan Christopherson is a freshman at UC Merced.

Christopherson is back home in Fresno Thursday night after witnessing the dramatic end to the terror that gripped the campus on Wednesday.

PHOTOS: Investigation underway after four stabbed at UC Merced

"At first I thought it was just an activity or something and then I quickly realized they were chasing the person that was out in front. So he got closer, he probably passed within about five feet of me and I noticed he was gripping something thick and black in his hand," Christopherson said.

The object was the hunting knife used to stab four people. She says the students chasing the man backed off when two campus police officers took over the pursuit. She says the suspect then stopped, and faced the officers. She says one officer repeatedly told the man to drop his weapon and get on the ground, but he didn't comply.

"The guy kept slowly stepping towards the officer. Just kept advancing towards him, advancing towards him. The officer kept saying, 'Do you want to get shot? You need to put it down. Do you want to get shot?' And then he made a lunge at the officer, like a really quick motion towards him," she said.

Thinking the suspect had a gun, Christopherson was just 30 feet away and afraid she was in the line of fire.

VIDEO: Coroner find manifesto on UC Merced student

"It was just extreme panic when he made the lunge, I just ran for my life," she said.

She said she heard two gunshots then turned and saw the officer standing over the body. She says she was traumatized by what she saw, but is planning to go back to school next week.

"I feel like this is an isolated, unfortunate incident, but yeah, it does make you feel a little less safe knowing something like this could happen on your campus," she said.
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