Two 20-year-old female students are currently in the hospital, one in critical condition, following a stabbing incident at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. The police and ambulance were alerted to the scene at 2:45pm on Monday after reports of the stabbing.
According to a police spokesperson, both women were transported to the hospital with stab wounds. One is in critical condition while the other is stable.
In addition, a 34-year-old man was assaulted but sustained only minor injuries and did not require hospitalization.
The police have confirmed that a 24-year-old man is in custody and there is no need to search for any other individuals involved in the incident.
It has come to light that the man in custody is Alex Ophel, a former ANU student who was previously accused of attempting to kill five people in his statistics class with a baseball bat in 2017. Ophel was found not guilty due to mental impairment. However, it is important to note that no charges have been filed yet for the recent stabbing, and a specific motive has not been determined.
Shortly after the incident, an email was sent to all ANU staff and students, assuring them that there is no threat to the community and that an individual is in police custody.
The ANU has released a statement urging members of the public to avoid the scene as the investigation continues, specifically mentioning that Fellows Oval and Chifley Meadow on the ANU campus are closed for ongoing investigation.
Support services for ANU staff and students are accessible on the university's website.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt expressed his gratitude for the quick response of emergency services and campus security staff in an email to all staff and students.
Police are urging any witnesses who have not yet come forward to contact the City Police Station or provide any footage of the incident to the police immediately.