'I feel like a human again': Community unites to protect homeless from suspected serial killer

Alleged UC Davis killer Carlos Dominguez accused of killing David Breaux and student Karim Abou Najm

ByTori Apodaca, CNNWire
Sunday, May 7, 2023
Former UC Davis student arrested in deadly stabbings: police
Former UC Davis student Carlos Dominguez as been arrested in connection with three stabbings.

DAVIS, Calif. -- The Davis community is breathing a little easier this weekend, now that suspected serial killer Carlos Dominguez is off the streets.

There is now a shift in the community, especially for those living unhoused, KOVR reported.

"We once were a sore thumb," said Isaac Chessman who is homeless in Davis. "Now that this has happened, it is completely different and I like it. It's cool. I feel like a human again."

Two of the three victims in the string of stabbings were homeless. Chessman was in the tent directly next to the third victim and lone survivor, Kimberlee Guillory.

"It did like bring me so close to death that it made me want to do so much more for life," said Chessman.

The attacks triggered a quick response from community groups to temporarily house more homeless folks.

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"We asked for about 20 additional sets of bed rolls, blankets, pillows and we got the whole request within one hour," said executive director of the Davis Community Action Network (DCAM) Judy Ennis.

Multiple groups including Davis Community Meals and Housing and DCAM came together to make these spaces available. In total, Davis was able to house about 20 to 25 more homeless folks at the recently opened Paul's Place and the city's emergency winter shelter on 5th street. Now that the suspected serial killer is off the streets, the emergency shelter beds have closed, and the homeless are back on the streets.

"A lot of them have reached out to us and said they are worse off than before, a lot of them have nothing," said Joy Anguino who lives in Davis.

Anguino created a GoFundMe to protect the homeless while the suspected serial killer was still on the loose.

"We set the goal pretty humbly at $200 and it was just me alone," said Anguino. "I thought I could go around and hand out supplies to make people feel safer."

In less than a day, the community had raised over $12,000. That number continues to grow.

"We are uploading receipts to show transparency and accountability," said Anguino.

Anguino said she has gained support from other community groups and is also including a public-facing spreadsheet showing where the money is going on the GoFundMe.

"We are switching to more survival-focused needs and supplies like tents, tarps, sleeping bags," said Anguino. "And a few of the things you wouldn't think. Lanterns that double as power banks, those are huge. The cords and bricks to charge them, cell phones if possible."

The rally of support has homeless advocates hoping the momentum to protect the vulnerable does not stop now.

"The unhoused community has been in huge crisis this last week with the threat of a serial killer, but they still are in crisis," Anguino said.

Most recent data shows that Davis currently has just under 200 homeless people.

Bill Pride from Davis Community Meals and Housing said the focus now is to run the day shelter, move 18 households into the 18 permanent supportive housing at Paul's Place and to continue to provide permanent housing at Cesar Chavez Plaza and Creekside.

"I think it is one of the greater human catastrophes at this point in time, just the lack of housing and lack of services for everyone who needs it at this point," said Pride.

The 21-year-old suspect, Carlos Dominguez, is now a suspected serial killer accused of killing 50-year-old David Breaux and 20-year-old UC Davis student Karim Abou Najm. He is also accused of the attempted murder of 64-year-old Kimberlee Guillory.

He was arraigned on two murder charges in court on Friday, both with special circumstances that would make the case eligible for life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty, plus an attempted murder charge.

"I pray that he does meet the creator or something and he changes his life," said Chessman. "Even though I hope he never gets the hell out."

The video in the player above is from a previous report.

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