Two stabbing deaths in Davis last week as well as a third that injured a homeless woman have been attributed to the same male suspect, and the search for him prompted a brief citywide shelter-in-place order early Tuesday.
The first incidents occurred last week, both in city parks. The first stabbing was in Davis' Central Park around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, and the 50-year-old victim was a community fixture known for chatting up strangers from a particular bench, asking them to define their notion of "compassion." His name was David Breaux, and as reported by KCRA in the video below, he was well known for being kind, thoughtful, and compassionate himself.
The second stabbing occurred Saturday night around 9 p.m. in Sycamore Park, and the victim has been identified as a 20-year-old UC Davis student, whose father is a professor at the school. Karim Abou Najm was a senior computer science major and was a graduate of Davis High School.
The third victim was a 64-year-old woman in a downtown Davis homeless encampment, and she was stabbed through her tent early Tuesday morning. As KCRA reports, the stabbing occurred just before 12:30 a.m., and police immediately issued a citywide shelter-in-place order as they went on the hunt for the suspect. That order was lifted around 4 a.m.
The woman is said to be in critical condition.
The suspect is described by police as being of "unknown race," 19 to 23 years old, with "a light complexion and curly hair, who is 5 feet and 6 inches to 5 feet and 9 inches tall, and with a thin build."
Two homeless residents of Davis told KCRA they believe they saw the suspect early Tuesday.
"So we're sitting in front of the tent, and I said, ‘Babe, this isn’t feeling right,’ and I seen a dude run across the way and started running, but he would stop along every tree to blend in with the tree because it's dark. I noticed that because that’s something you would do if you’re scoping something out," says Isaac Cheessman, speaking to KCRA. "I said, ‘Hey bro,’ and he starts walking normal, and then I said, ‘You look like the dude they’ve been describing that’s been stabbing people.' He takes off and I started to take off after him."
Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel gave a press conference Tuesday morning in which he said investigators still are not able to definitively link the three incidents, though suspect descriptions from the latter two incidents appear similar.
Pytel said that the stabbing last night was particularly "brazen," and that this was highly concerning. "The suspect didn't seem to care that there were several witnesses who could identify him," Pytel said.
No arrest has yet been made.
Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call the anonymous tip line at 530-747-5460, or email [email protected].
This post will be updated as we learn more.
Previously: Beloved Community Member Stabbed in Davis
Top image: Sycamore Park in Davis, photo via Yelp