Davis, a Northern Californian university town known for its laid-back vibe and bicycle-friendly infrastructure, has been rocked by a spate of stabbings. The most recent incident saw a homeless woman being stabbed through her tent, just one of three attacks in a week.
Police have not yet established whether there is one or multiple suspects, and have issued a shelter-in-place order while they search for the perpetrator. Davis Police Chief, Darren Pytel, has worked for the force for four decades and said he could not recall any similar incidents.
The first victim was found unresponsive in downtown’s Central Park on Thursday, and the second attack occurred on Saturday when a resident heard a disturbance and found a young man with multiple stab wounds. The third victim, the homeless woman, is in critical condition.
The community is feeling the impact of the attacks and students are afraid to attend classes. Many have reported feeling unsafe, according to a survey conducted by the student government. Radhika Gawde, president of the Associated Students of the University of California, Davis, reported that students are staying up late, monitoring police activity and sharing information on social media.
Residents are being urged to be vigilant and to look out for one another. The FBI is assisting with the investigation and police are following up on hundreds of tips and searching for DNA evidence.
Davis is a small city, with a population of around 67,000 residents in addition to over 13,000 students who live on campus. The city is located 70 miles northeast of San Francisco and 15 miles west of Sacramento, California.