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Davis

Davis, California

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Former UC Davis student, 21, arrested as suspect in Davis stabbings case

Carlos Dominguez was a third-year student at UC Davis until last week, according to the university

 

By CHRIS PONCE, KATIE DEBENEDETTI AND SONORA SLATER city@theaggie.org

 

At 2:00 p.m., the Davis Police Department held a press conference to share updates about the investigation into two homicides and one stabbing incident that left a victim in critical condition and discuss the recent person of interest, who they announced as a suspect at the press conference, who had been detained. 

The suspect, 21-year-old Carlos Dominguez, has been arrested on two counts of homicide and one count of attempted murder. He was a student at UC Davis until last week when he was “separated for academic reasons,” according to a release from the university. The suspect is now at the Yolo County jail and final charges will be determined in the coming days. 

Dominguez was detained Wednesday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. after being stopped by patrol officers responding to around 15 call-in tips from community members who spotted him on the corner of Colby Drive and Pine Lane, a block from Sycamore Park. Dominguez was in possession of a large hunting-style knife in a backpack at the time and had injuries on his hands and wrists, according to Police Chief Darren Pytel.

“We arrested him first for possessing a large knife that was on him when we picked him up that was consistent with what we were looking for based on evidence from the first homicide,” Pytel said. “Just about an hour ago, we placed him under arrest on two counts of homicide and one count of attempted murder. “

Dominguez did not appear to be under the influence of any substances and does not have clear mental health issues, although that, along with his motive, is still under investigation. 

Davis Mayor Will Arnold said that at this time, the Davis Police Department is confident that they have arrested the person responsible for all three crimes. 

“A murderer is off the streets and our families will sleep easier tonight,” Arnold said at Wednesday’s press conference. 

Pytel said that the crimes were “particularly brazen and brutal,” and that it was “strange” that Dominguez returned to the scene of the second attack on Wednesday. He added that at this time, it is unknown if Dominguez knew any of the victims or if the attacks were targeted, though they do not appear to have been. 

Dominguez was arrested first for possessing the large knife that was on his person when he was picked up, which was consistent with what we were looking for based on evidence from the first homicide. About 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, he was placed under arrest on two counts of homicide and one count of attempted murder. 

On Thursday morning, police got a warrant for his current residence on Hawthorn Street, and were searching the home. Pytel confirmed that he lived with roommates, who have been questioned. He also confirmed that Dominguez had been back to the residence since last Thursday, when the first attack occurred. 

Dominguez will be arraigned at the Yolo County Court as early as Monday. Chancellor Gary May said that normal campus operations should also resume soon, likely on Monday.

Both Pytel and Arnold expressed their condolences to the families and friends of the victims, David Henry Breaux, Karim Abou Najm, and the woman, Kim, who was injured in the third attack.

“Let us not forget that their lives have been irreparably impacted,” Arnold said. “We will never forget David and Karim, and we will continue to hope and pray that Kim makes a speedy and full recovery.”

Written by: Chris Ponce, Katie DeBenedetti and Sonora Slater — city@theaggie.org