Last updated June 28, 10:04 p.m.
On Wednesday afternoon at approximately 4 p.m., a stabbing incident occurred toward the end of PHIL 202: Gender Issues in Hagey Hall. According to the Waterloo Regional Police Services three individuals were sent to hospital and the suspect was apprehended.
The university posted on Twitter that there was no further risk about thirty minutes after the incident.
— University of Waterloo (@UWaterloo) June 28, 2023
Jinming Li, an arts and business student in the class, was an eyewitness to the event. According to Li, a man of about 20-30 years of age entered the class and asked the professor what the class was about. The man closed the door, pulled two knives out of his backpack and proceeded to attack the professor. Students ran to the back of the class to exit out of the one class entrance. “It feels [shocking],” Li said. “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.”
Third-year AFM student Jackson Yan was studying on the third floor of Hagey Hall when the stabbing occurred. According to Yan, the incident occurred in HH 139, where the suspect missed the professor but “ended up attacking one or two other people”. Yan described a student in the class who ran out and screamed for others to run, which is when notifications popped up telling students to leave and when police showed up.
Yan said a friend of his who was in Founder’s Hall at the time sent him a text saying there was a stabber in Hagey Hall. Initially, Yan and the other students who were studying barricaded themselves, but after receiving a phone call from a friend who said that the police had arrived and apprehended the suspect, they felt “a little more comfortable to step out.”
Any classes schedule for the Hagey Hall this evening have been cancelled but all other campus operations are continuing as normal.
The suspect cannot be identified as no charges have been laid yet. Nick Manning, associate vice-president of UW communications, said that the suspect is “a member of the University of Waterloo community”.
According to WRPS superintendent Shaena Morris, the victims — the professor and two students — are in non-life-threatening condition.
Community members have taken to social media sites like Twitter to point out the lack of any notification from the WatSafe app, an app developed by the UW’s Special Constable Service and Safety Office and intended to, among other things, inform community members about major campus emergencies.
— James M. Skidmore (@JamesMSkidmore) June 28, 2023
“Why they didn’t work when we needed them is a question we’re gonna have to answer in the aftermath of what we did here,” Manning said.
Some members posted on Twitter that their first notification from the app came almost 90 minutes after the incident began, while others had yet to receive any direct official notification of the incident.
“We can’t rely on email in an emergency situation … so when we have an emergency situation like this we rely on the much faster mechanisms of communication: word-of-mouth, of course, but also social media, our website, the WatSafe app, eventually, was sending notifications as well,” Manning said. “It’s no good receiving an email three hours after an emergency incident.”
Hagey Hall has been closed for the rest of the day and is expected to reopen at approximately 7 a.m. tomorrow morning. The rest of campus remains open and operating as normal.
After hours mental health support for students who are impacted by today’s incident on campus is available through Here 24/7: 1-844-437-3247. Campus Wellness is available to support during daytime hours (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) call: 519-888-4096 for counselling services. IMPACT (Integrated Mobile Police and Crisis Team) workers can provide Mental Health care after-hours. IMPACT workers are available by calling 519-888-4911. IMPACT Hours are 3 pm to 12 am Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.