Merced stabbing: One man selflessly confronted knife-wielding attacker

Authorities in Merced County, Calif., say the death toll in a mass stabbing on the University of California, Merced campus could have been higher were it not for the heroic actions of a construction worker.

Paul Kitagaki Jr./The Sacramento Bee/AP
Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke address the media during a press conference following a stabbing in Merced, Calif., Wednesday. An assailant stabbed five people at the rural university campus in central California before police shot and killed him, authorities said Wednesday.

One man is being lauded as a hero for disrupting a knife-wielding attacker later killed by police on a California campus Wednesday morning.

Bryon Price was renovating a waiting room at the University of California in Merced when he ran toward a burst of noise in a second-floor classroom he thought was a fight between students.

Instead the construction worker found a male student had just slashed the throat of another person with an eight- to 10-inch hunting knife.

When Mr. Price opened the classroom door to the crashing of chairs and loud screams he soon became a victim himself, but that didn't stop him from trying to stop the assailant.

Price’s father told The Los Angeles Times his son was stabbed in the torso before he kicked the attacker, who then fled the building knifing two other along the way.

About 15 minutes later, campus police shot the male student dead on a nearby footbridge, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The authorities said they are withholding the student’s identity until his relatives are contacted but did indicate the suspect was from outside the area, had been living on campus and was in his teens or early 20s.

The assailant stabbed four people in total; two were airlifted to nearby hospitals.

A man named Josh Palmer wrote on Twitter that he had been working on the roof of the same building when he witnessed a woman who had been knifed.

“I look to my right on the ground is a lady laying down she got stabbed in the chest,” Mr. Palmer wrote, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Price was taken to the emergency room by two co-workers, while others immediately saluted him for thwarting what could have been a disaster.

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke hailed Price as "the true hero in all of this chaos,” The Merced Sun-Star reports. “Without him, the first victim could have been a lot worse off, or even dead.”

This report contains material from The Associated Press.

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