A professor and two students were stabbed on Wednesday during a gender issues class at a Canadian university, and a suspect was taken into custody, police said. Students who were in the classroom at the University of Waterloo said the attacker entered the classroom and began attacking people after speaking with the professor.
“The guy came in and asked the teacher if he was the teacher, he said ‘yes’ then he took out a knife and after that everyone ran away,” said Yusuf Kaymak, a student from class, to CTV News.
“I ran away, and after we got out, there was a child who was stabbed. He was bleeding (from) his arm. I don’t know what happened to the teacher,” he said.
Kaymak said about 40 students were in the class at the time. Another student, Jimmy Li, told CTV the attacker had “two really big knives.”
The injuries were not life threatening and the motive for the attack was not immediately clear, police said. The suspect was being questioned by investigators.
“There is no longer a threat to public safety on campus or off in the wider community at this time,” Waterloo Regional Police Service Superintendent Shaena Morris said during the interview. a press conference.
Nick Manning, the university’s associate vice president of communications, identified the suspect as a member of “the university community”, but declined to confirm the individual was a student.
Manning said the stabbings took place in Philosophy 202, which the university’s website says focuses on “gender issues.”
A description of the course on the website states that it “will examine the construction of gender in the history of philosophy through contemporary discussions. What is sex? How do we “do” gender? How can we “undo” gender – and do we want to? »
“Our whole community is really worried about this happening here. It’s a big shock,” Manning told reporters.
Classes scheduled for Wednesday night at Hagey Hall, where the attack took place, have been canceled, the university said in a tweet. It was expected to remain closed until Thursday morning, but all other campus operations will continue as usual, the university said.
“Our first thoughts, of course, are with the students who are in the classroom and immediately turned to ensure that in addition to supporting the police investigation, we have been there to support the mental health of our students and our staff,” Manning said.
In a statement, school provost James WE Rush called the attack “shocking”.
“In the coming days many of you will have questions about why this happened and the University’s response,” Rush wrote. “My commitment to you is that senior leaders will be as transparent as possible with the information we have.”