From anxiety to fear, UC Merced students dealing with strong emotions after stabbing

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- Most students felt a deep sense of relief once they left UC Merced after terror took over their campus.

"It's shocking and it's terrifying. It's something you would never expect from our cute little sweet campus, UC Merced, nothing like this has ever happened before," said Cara Baird, UC Merced student.

The early morning stabbing surprised the entire campus, as a place of learning turned into chaos. "Somebody walked into the classroom and said we all have to leave, as we were exiting I just saw someone was laying on the floor, all the police were blocking everything off," said Alfredo Calderon, UC Merced first year

Students describe the terrifying moments after they were evacuated and realized classmates were victims and police were chasing after a suspect. "I got a message from one of my co-workers saying she was in the lantern and they had shot the suspect on the bridge, and they had the campus completely closed down," said Alicia Meja, UC Merced third year.

Students were on lockdown throughout the morning. UC Merced has been around for a decade and with more than 6,000 students this tragedy struck home. "It shouldn't happen here or anywhere, but thinking a campus so small and new, you see familiar faces everywhere, it's very unimaginable that something of this magnitude would happen here," explained Sara Mendoza, UC Merced second year.

Mmany of the students are also the first in their families to go to college, making this frightening for many families. "My mom called, I told her we were fine, but we were really close to the building," Sachiko Garcia, UC Merced second year.

As for students, they say they'll always remember the day their campus changed forever. "Now every time I'm going to come back, I'm going to fear if something is going to happen again," said Blanca Ayala, senior at UC Merced.
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