DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) — Two men are dead and a woman is in critical condition after three separate stabbing attacks that occurred in the late hours across several days in Davis, California.
Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel described the attacks as “brutal and violent,” and that they do not have the characteristics of an attack that would occur during the course of a robbery or a similar crime.
Local law enforcement says that it has received similar descriptions of the suspects in at least two of the attacks, but that they are not able to “positively link the three crimes,” and federal authorities have now joined the investigation.
“These attacks were violent and brazen … we ask that the public be vigilant and completely aware of your surroundings,” Pytel said at a news conference, adding that people should move about the city in groups at least until there is an arrest in the case.
Below is what officials have shared so far about the attacks.
Stabbing at Central Park
On the morning of Thursday, April 27, Davis Police said they responded to a call of an individual found unresponsive in Central Park.
Emergency personnel found a man with “multiple stab wounds” and declared the man deceased.
Chief Pytel said that there were no witnesses at this crime, nor is there any video surveillance available.
The Yolo County Coroner identified the victim as David Henry Breaux, 50, known locally as the “Compassion Guy,” who frequented the area for at least the last decade.
Breaux was instrumental in the installation of the Compassion Bench in 2013, and community members have contributed to a growing memorial at the site.
Second stabbing happened at Sycamore Park
Sunday morning, Davis Police advised about a call made the night of April 29 regarding a disturbance in Sycamore Park, located about 1.5 miles northwest of Central Park.
A second man was found dead with multiple stab wounds, and local officials identified the victim as Karim Abou Najim, 20, a student at UC Davis.
Chief Pytel said that there was a single witness and that this person “exchanged some words” with the suspect before he ran away.
The day after the attack, the community held a vigil for the first two victims.
Third stabbing near an electrical complex and railroad
Early morning Tuesday, Davis Police informed the public about a stabbing that occurred late in the night of May 1 near 2nd St. and L St., an area about a half mile east of Central Park, near an electrical complex and a railroad.
The area is the site of a community of unhoused people who have lived there for some time.
Chief Pytel said several 911 calls were made, including from the victim, a woman who told emergency officials that the suspect “stabbed her more than one time through the tent” she was in.
The woman was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where she underwent surgery and currently remains in critical condition.
Pytel added that the suspect in this attack “interacted” with a group of people beforehand, with witnesses saying that he was “ducking behind trees” before leaving.
The suspect later came back and attacked the woman until she started yelling, Pytel said.
What we know about the suspects
Davis Police say they do not have a suspect description for the first attack, and that the suspect description for the second and third attacks is similar.
However, police have repeated that they cannot positively link the three crimes.
In the second stabbing, police said the suspect is a man with light skin, long and curly hair, possibly Hispanic, measuring between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall. He is believed to be between 19 and 23 years old.
The suspect was wearing a white hat, a light-colored T-shirt with a button-up shirt over it, and was riding a men’s bike with straight handlebars.
After the second attack, a person of interest who matched the suspect description was detained 5 blocks away from the crime scene, police said.
This person was detained for an outstanding warrant from Placer County for public intoxication and resisting arrest, police said.
Pytel said that officials are investigating if this person is connected to the attacks.
In the third stabbing, police said the suspect is a man with curly hair, measuring between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall. He has a thin build and was last seen wearing a black or blue sweatshirt, black Adidas pants with white stripes, black shoes and carrying a brown backpack.
Police are piecing together the descriptions that they do have in order to complete a sketch of the suspect in the second and third attacks, and this sketch will be made public, Pytel said.