By Isabella Navarrette
DAVIS, CA – The Davis community was struck by tragedy this past week, as three stabbing victims, two dying, emerged within the span of a week.
The first incident of homicide was reported on April 27 at approximately 11:20 a.m. in Central Park, and the victim was found unresponsive with stab wounds. The victim was later identified on April 28 as David Henry Breaux, a 50-year-old Davis community member who was colloquially referred to as the “Compassion Guy” in the city.
As a long-time resident of Davis (since 2009), his absence and sudden death were felt as the community continues to mourn this loss.
A day later on April 29 at around 9:14 p.m., the UC Davis Police Department reported a second homicide at Sycamore Park in Davis. This victim was again found with stab wounds, and the authorities were searching to see if these two incidents are related.
As of April 30, this victim was identified by the Yolo County Coroner’s Office as Karim Abou Najm, a 20-year-old UC Davis student who was a long-term Davis resident and a graduate of Davis High School in 2020.
Karim was about to graduate from UC Davis this spring with a degree in computer science, and students and community members alike are still mourning his tragic death. A public memorial was held at the International Center to honor Karim, and UC Davis established a scholarship in his name that has currently received 87,000 dollars in donations from more than 700 donors.
Most recently, on May 1 at approximately 11:46 p.m., a woman was stabbed at a camp on 2nd Street and L Street. The police reports indicate that the woman was stabbed multiple times through a tent. She was taken to the hospital and was in critical condition, though ultimately survived.
This third stabbing incident led to the implementation of a shelter-in-place order that night, which was since lifted.
The city recognized the toll that these tragedies had on the community. The Davis Police Department issued a statement saying that “the department understands the uncertainty, fears, and panic that is arising in the community.”
As such, the scope of this investigation was expanded, with the Davis Police Department receiving aid from the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI.
Finally, at a press conference Thursday, Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel announced that the suspect for these incidents, 21-year-old Carlos Dominguez, had been questioned and arrested by the police on two counts of murder. Police noted that they had significant evidence that Dominguez was the serial killer involved. Notably, Dominguez was a UC Davis student who had been recently separated from the university.
Ultimately, the events of this past week were tragic and full of pain and grief. They also showed, however, the unity of the Davis community in protecting those around them and adapting so quickly to the pressing issues at hand.