Waterloo Regional Police Service Superintendent Shaena Morris said at a press conference that the motive for the attack is unknown and the suspect is being questioned. According to CTV, Morris said that the attacker was a member of the university community, and the three who were injured were taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
“I can also confirm that this incident is contained entirely within the university community itself. There is no further threat to public safety either on campus or outside in the broader community at this time,” Morris said.Witnesses said there were 40 people in the classroom at the time of the attack in Hagey Hall.
The associate vice president of communications for the university, Nick Manning, said that the suspect is a member of “the university community” but did not say if the individual is a student.
Manning said the attack happened during Philosophy 202, according to the Daily Mail. According to the university’s website, the course focuses on “gender issues.”
The course description states, “This course will examine the construction of gender in the history of philosophy through contemporary discussions. What is gender? How do we ‘do’ gender? How can we ‘undo’ gender—and do we want to?"
The university announced in a tweet that classes that were scheduled for Wednesday evening in the building where the attack occurred, Hagey Hall, were canceled, but all other campus operations will proceed as scheduled. Hagey Hall is scheduled to reopen at 7 am Thursday.
A student at the university, Yusuf Kaymak, told CTV News, “The guy basically walked in and asked the teacher if he was the professor, he said ‘yeah’ then he pulled out a knife and after that, everybody just ran out.”
He added, “I ran out, and after we went outside, there was a kid that was stabbed. He was bleeding (from) his arm. I don’t know what happened to the professor.”
Jinming Li, an arts and business student in the class, told UWImprint that a man of about 20-30 years of age walked into the room and asked the professor what the class was about.
The suspect then closed the door, pulled two knives out of his backpack, and attacked the professor while students ran to an exit in the back of the classroom.
Li told the outlet, “It feels [shocking]. If I ranked the safe[ty] of the university, maybe I’d give them… maybe 3, 3.5 [out of 5], because everyone can come in our university, and we don’t have security right? … they can come in our buildings.”
Waterloo’s Mayor Dorothy McCabe wrote on Twitter, “This was a very troubling & disturbing incident. I'm relieved that the individual involved was quickly apprehended. Waterloo city council & staff offer our support and hopes for a full recovery to those injured on UW's campus today.”
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