89.9 F

Davis, California

Friday, July 19, 2024

Three stabbings in Davis this week leave two dead, one in critical condition

The search for a suspect or suspects is ongoing as FBI and neighboring police departments join in 


By KATIE DEBENEDETTI — city@theaggie.org


Since Thursday, April 28, three stabbings, including two fatal ones, have occurred in the city of Davis. The search for a suspect or suspects is ongoing as of Tuesday evening. 

Though the events have not been definitively linked at this time, the Davis Police Department has said that the suspects in both of the two most recent attacks, which took place on Saturday and Monday nights, bore a resemblance. They have described him as a “light-complected male,” and he is thought to be thin and between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-9. He was last seen shortly after midnight on Tuesday running westbound on 3rd Street from L Street wearing “a black or blue sweatshirt, black Adidas pants with white stripes, black shoes carrying a brown backpack.”

According to Lt. Dan Beckwith, it is too early to tell if these crimes are related.

“I can say that the description is similar to what was provided to us in the most recent homicide, however, it’s still very, very early on,” Beckwith said.


First homicide in Davis since 2019 takes place in Central Park


On Thursday, April 28, around 11:20 a.m., David Henry Breaux, commonly known as the “Compassion Guy,” was found dead on a bench in Central Park with multiple stab wounds. Breaux has stood on the corner of 3rd and C Streets in downtown Davis for many years, well-known for his compassion mission. He began collecting community members’ answers to the question “What is compassion?” in 2009 and released a book called “Compassion Davis, CA: A Compilation of Concepts on Compassion” in early 2010 that contained many of the interpretations he had gathered.

The California Aggie’s arts desk wrote an article about Breaux in 2011, when he hosted a speaking event to talk about his compassion project. Since then, he traveled to 12 other cities around the country to talk to people about their own definitions of compassion and spearheaded the creation of the “Compassion Bench,” a functional art structure in Davis in 2013. 


Second fatal stabbing reported in Sycamore Park


On Saturday night around 9:15 p.m., a second fatal stabbing took place at Sycamore Park. According to a statement made to the police, a resident reported hearing a disturbance at the park on Sycamore Lane near Colby Drive. The resident went to investigate and found two men in an altercation, one of whom had multiple stab wounds. 

When the resident asked if everything was okay, one of the men stood up and took off on a white bike with straight handlebars. The resident described him as “a light-skinned male, possibly Hispanic, 5’-7” to 5’-8” tall, 19-23 years of age, with long curly loose hair,” wearing a light-colored T-shirt with a button-up shirt over it and a white hat.

The victim of the second fatal stabbing was 20-year-old, fourth-year computer science major Karim Abou Najm. Najm has been described as loving and intelligent by his father, and he enjoyed playing Dungeons & Dragons with the DRAGON club at UC Davis. 


Third stabbing event occurs Monday night


On Monday night, around 11:47 p.m., a third stabbing took place at a homeless encampment on 2nd and L Streets. As of Tuesday night, the female victim is in critical condition after being stabbed multiple times through a tent.

The Davis Police Department and UC Davis issued a shelter-in-place order around 1 a.m. on Tuesday and it remained in place until 5:15 a.m. when police reported they had completed a thorough search of the area. 

According to the Davis Enterprise, Isaac Chessman and Christine Berrios, an unhoused couple that resides in the encampment, said that they awoke to the woman yelling for help. The couple said that their friend, Kim, yelled “He’s on me! Help! Get off me! The guy with the curly hair!”

Chessman also reported that believes he saw the suspect about two hours earlier on Monday night and called the police, but received no response.


The search for the suspect is ongoing


As of Tuesday night, one or multiple suspects remain at large. Last night’s search brought in Yolo and Sacramento County sheriff departments as well as drone and K-9 units to conduct yard-to-yard searches in the downtown area. The FBI has also been called in to assist with the investigation.

Though the shelter-in-place order has been lifted, Davis PD spokesperson Jean Lyon said that heavy patrol will continue in the downtown area as the search for the suspect continues. 

At a media conference on Tuesday, UC Davis announced that for the foreseeable future, all courses that take place or end after 6 p.m. will be held online, and the school has expanded the “Safe Ride” program to provide earlier rides to off-campus housing. Additionally, it is recommended that all events held after 6 p.m. be moved online or canceled. The UC Davis Police Department has also requested support from the UCSF and UC Berkeley Police Departments, which will take over on-campus patrol while the UC Davis PD assists the city in the search.

Police have warned the community to be vigilant and take precautions at this time. They recommend not traveling at night, and if necessary, doing so in groups. If anyone has information about any of the incidents or has seen anyone matching the suspect description or acting suspiciously, contact Davis PD immediately. 

The Davis Police Department can be reached at 530-747-5400 or via email at policeweb@cityofdavis.org. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call at 530-747-5460. If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911.


Written by: Katie DeBenedetti — city@theaggie.org


City News Editor Chris Ponce and Campus News Editor Sonora Slater contributed to this report.