From Chancellor Gary S. May: Our Campus and Community Are Grieving

To the UC Davis Community:

I am simply devastated that the young person killed Saturday night at Sycamore Park in Davis was a UC Davis student, Karim Abou Najm. By all accounts, he was an exceptional student, son and friend.

I offer my sincerest condolences to his family, friends, his teachers and classmates. Our campus Postvention team is working with the family to provide support. We are identifying him at this time with his family’s permission. He was a Davis High School graduate who enrolled at UC Davis as a freshman and was now in his senior year, majoring in computer science in the College of Letters and Science.

News of this crime is deeply unsettling. We are doing all we can to support our community, including the family. Our Police Department is collaborating with the city of Davis Police Department to provide all available resources to assist in the search for the suspect or suspects, and to provide extra patrols in the city and on campus. The UC Davis Police Safe Rides Program is being expanded.

I know many of you are frightened by what’s happened, especially so quickly after the stabbing incident that occurred on Thursday in Davis’ Central Park. Like so many of you, I am grieving the death of David Henry Breaux, known as the “Compassion Guy,” who was the victim in that incident. David led a life with real purpose, to connecting humanity for the greater good, something we should all aspire to do.

Our Police Department shared tips earlier that I’d like to reiterate here as well:

  • Always be alert to your surroundings.
  • Try not to travel alone.
  • Always try to vary your routes to and from work or school.
  • Be aware of location and situation that will make you vulnerable to crime, especially in darkness. Indeed, these two crimes occurred in darkness in parks.
  • Avoid people and situations that make you nervous — Trust Your Instincts!
  • Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible. Walk confidently and at a steady pace, making eye contact with people when walking.
  • If you ever feel you or others are in danger, call 911.

If you see something that appears odd or out of place, report it. If you have information about these attacks, report it.

  • Davis Police Department — 530-747-5400 or  email , or crime tip line, 530-747-5460, where you can remain anonymous
  • UC Davis Police Department — 530-754-COPS (2677)

Again, I know both of these senseless tragedies have left many of us afraid and unsettled. We are still mourning students who lost their lives in traffic accidents just a few weeks ago, and that was already difficult to process. Please take advantage of our campus resources for students and staff and faculty, or reach out to friends.


Gary S. May

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