Police: 1 dead in random stabbing at Maryland school

AP News
Posted: May 20, 2017 7:04 PM

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — A University of Maryland student fatally stabbed a visiting student on campus early Saturday in what appears to be a random attack over graduation weekend, police said.

A Bowie State University student was with two friends near a bus stop at the College Park campus around 3 a.m. when a University of Maryland student stabbed him in the chest with a folding knife, local media outlets reported. The victim was pronounced dead at a hospital, police said.

Police said the attack was random and unprovoked and that the victim and suspect didn't know each other.

Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas, a spokeswoman for the University of Maryland Police Department, told The Associated Press that the suspect is white and the victim is black. Police don't have any reason to believe that race played a role in the attack, she said.

University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell told reporters at a news conference Saturday that the suspect had been drinking. Mitchell called the stabbing "totally extraordinary" for the school, noting that there hasn't been a homicide on campus in at least 10 years, news outlets reported.

Hoaas said the stabbing was captured on surveillance cameras and that charges against the suspect are pending. Neither the victim nor the suspect's identities have been released.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement on Facebook that the state is working closely with the school as it investigates the stabbing.

"Our students deserve to feel safe, and violence on our campuses will not be tolerated," Hogan said.

The University of Maryland's president said there will be a moment of silence to honor the victim during Sunday's commencement ceremony.

"Words cannot express my deep anguish over this horrific tragedy," President Wallace Loh said in a statement.

Bowie State's president said the school will not release the name of the victim until Sunday to honor his family's request.

"As we struggle to deal with our emotions, let's find appropriate ways to express our sorrow and hope for justice," President Mickey Burnim said in a statement. "Let's remember our words and actions have the power to heal and the power to hurt. Let's strive to use our actions to bring comfort and peace."