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Three Stabbed in Attack on University's Gender Studies Class

Three Stabbed in Attack on University's Gender Studies Class

The University of Waterloo

Their injuries are not life-threatening, and police haven't commented on a motive, but the suspect did ask about the class's subject matter.

Three people were wounded when a man wielding a knife attacked a gender studies class at the University of Waterloo in Canada’s Ontario province Wednesday.

A professor and two students were stabbed, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reports. They were taken to a hospital, but their injuries are not life-threatening. The suspect, whose name has not been released, is in police custody. Charges have yet to be filed.

The attack took place toward the end of a philosophy class focusing on gender issues. Police haven’t commented on a motive, but a student said the man asked about the class’s subject matter before he began stabbing people.

Jinming Li toldImPrint,the university’s student newspaper, that after the man asked what the class dealt with, he took two knives out of a backpack and began attacking the professor and then others. Li said the man was between 20 and 30. University spokesman Nick Manning said the suspect is “a member of the University of Waterloo community” but offered no further identifying information. The victims’ names have not been released either.

Students ran from the classroom and sheltered in another room in the building, Hagey Hall, along with others who'd been studying nearby, witnesses said. They said police responded quickly.

At a news conference Wednesday night, Waterloo Regional Police Service Superintendent Shaena Morris said the incident “is contained entirely within the university community itself,” CTV News reports. “There is no further threat to public safety either on campus or outside in the broader community at this time,” she added.

“I can’t speak to motive at this time,” she continued. “Obviously, we are under investigation currently, but we do have investigators with our person under arrest determining that right now.”

Also at the news conference, Manning called the attack “a big shock,” according to CTV. “Our entire community is really concerned that this would happen here,” he said. Mental health counseling is available to students, he noted.

“We’ve immediately turned to supporting our students,” he said. “We will look at some of the other issues around the campus as we unfold the incident in the coming days.”

Some students had complained to ImPrint about delays in notification through the university’s smartphone app. At the news conference, Manning said, “We need to take a look again at our emergency notifications systems, of course. In any incident, the first thought for anybody involved is the immediate preservation of life and the security response, which is where the focus was today.”

“We are blessed to be in an area of the world where these kinds of things happen very, very rarely,” he added. “We have a great security team and special constable service that were able to react very, very quickly in great partnership with Waterloo Regional Police Service.”

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