UC Merced students at Thursday night’s Fresno State Bulldogs football game were glad to join the Red Wave to take their minds off the horrifying stabbing incident and shooting that had occurred on their campus the day before.
Faisal Mohammad, an 18-year-old from Santa Clara, went on a morning rampage, stabbing four people before campus police shot him to death.
Students from UC Merced, where the team name is the Bobcats, were invited to the Bulldogs game for free. Fresno State dispatched five buses to the Merced to bring them to the game. All told, 696 students and family members made the trip.
Members of Fresno State student government met them, handing out pompoms to the visitors.
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UC Merced freshman Anthony Tyler was on campus at the time of Wednesday’s stabbings but did not witness the event. “I wasn’t directly involved because I was asleep in the dorms when everything happened,” Tyler said.
Still, “it was very scary. Students had to be evacuated in the middle of their lecture,” Tyler said.
By Thursday, students were looking for a way to escape the anxiety the stabbing caused. “I just wanted to get the stress away,” said UC Merced senior Luis Rodriguez, a Central Valley native.
Bobcats senior cross-country runner Danny Peña stressed that the school remains strong. “We have to stay united as a school to get through this,” he said.
“It’s very shocking and scary that something like that happened. Our school is very open,” said Peña.
Fresno State President Joseph Castro was to greet the UC Merced students in Section 35 at the end of the first quarter. He was part of the UC team that founded the Merced campus 10 years ago.