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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

As Davis recovers from tragedy, be respectful and stay safe

Remember to protect your physical and mental health as we continue to grieve the deaths of David Henry Breaux and Karim Abou Najm  




The stabbing incidents this past week have shaken the Davis community and left many struggling to reconcile the trauma and uncertainty that followed. The last homicide within the city occurred almost four years ago in 2019, and it’s no surprise that residents and students alike had urgently voiced concerns for safety.

Even though a suspect has been arrested, the events of the past week have left many students feeling on edge, faced with the reality that even small-town Davis isn’t immune to violence. As life in Davis begins to return to normal, the Editorial Board would still like to offer tips, in addition to the ones the Davis Police Department has provided, to help students feel more safe.

While this may seem intuitive and repetitive, stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Keep your doors and windows locked, and if possible, minimize the amount of time you spend alone outside when it’s dark. If you feel unsafe, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation as best you can. If it makes you more comfortable, you can also look into personal self-defense mechanisms. 

As more news continues to develop, it may be tempting to speculate and feed on rumors surrounding the investigation. However, until the Davis Police Department officially announces the resolution of the case, scrolling through and contributing to online discussion threads on Reddit, Discord or YikYak for theories, for example, isn’t helpful. Spreading false narratives is disrespectful to the victims who have passed. Instead, refer to updates on WarnMe and official announcements from the university and local news sources to stay informed. Remember to be conscious of the media you read.

Grieving the losses of community members and dealing with a lost sense of safety and independence in Davis can impact your mental health and it’s important to take care of yourself.

To avoid falling into a dangerous rabbit hole of conspiracy theories, try taking your mind off of recent events by engaging in hobbies. Reading, cleaning or being active are great ways to calm your mind.

Additionally, professors and TAs are also members of the Davis community, and they may be struggling with similar stress and feelings to students. Be patient with them as they navigate this confusing time and adapt their class schedules accordingly.

While many of us might feel more on edge following these events, it’s comforting to know that members of the community are ready and willing to work together and take care of each other. The Davis Police Department received around 15 call-in tips from different residents that helped successfully locate and apprehend the suspect.

While a return to normalcy seems imminent with the arrest of the alleged perpetrator, it is understandable that this might feel difficult. Unfortunately, Davis is not immune to tragic, heartbreaking events like the stabbings of David Henry Breaux, Karim Abou Najm and Kimberly Guillory

As the Davis community continues to grieve and heal together, the Editorial Board urges you to keep these safety tips in mind, prioritize your physical and mental health and be respectful of the friends and families of the victims who have passed.  


Written by: The Editorial Board