Knife at attack scene (illustration)
Knife at attack scene (illustration)Arutz Sheva Staff

The University of California Merced student who stabbed four people on Wednesday was identified on Thursday as Faisal Mohammad, a Muslim freshman from Santa Clara.

The 18-year-old Computer Science and Engineering major was identified as the attacker by Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke to the local paper Merced Sun-Star.

The sheriff said investigators, including from the FBI and US Department of Homeland Security, are still trying to determine the motive of the Muslim student's stabbing attack. Little is known about Mohammad other than that his 18th birthday came in late October.

University of California campuses have become home to radical pro-Islamic and anti-Israel sentiment, as evidenced in a vote to boycott Israel in February at UC Davis, during which anti-Israel activists shouted "Allahu akbar" (Allah is greater) at Jewish students and after which a student senator wrote "Hamas has taken over UC Davis."

In the attack Wednesday, Mohammad wounded two students, a female student adviser and a construction worker who was taking part in a remodeling project on campus; the wounds of all four were defined as non-life-threatening.

One student remained hospitalized Thursday morning but is expected to recover, and the other wounded student has already been released. The student adviser suffered a collapsed lung from her wounds, but is recovering after a successful surgery according to a university spokesperson. The construction worker was treated at a hospital and later released.

In the attack, Mohammad entered a second-floor classroom as a class began while armed with a large hunting knife. He stabbed a male student, before 31-year-old construction worker Byron Price, who was in a nearby room, went to intervene and got cut around the waist. Co-workers drove him to hospital for treatment.

Sheriff Warnke praised Price's actions, saying, "without him, the first victim could have been a lot worse off, or even dead."

Mohammad then apparently left the building where he stabbed another male student outside, and then attacked the female student adviser as she sat on a bench, stabbing her twice.

At that point two university police officers arrived, chasing the Muslim attacker to a bridge on campus where he was shot dead.

One officer was give an automatic three-day leave from the department, which the local paper said is standard protocol in "officer-involved shootings."

Classes were canceled for the rest of the day and remained canceled on Thursday, although they are to resume Friday.