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Five people stabbed in classroom attack at California university

The male attacker was shot dead by police on the scene at the University of California in Merced.

California Campus Stabbings AP AP

AN ATTACKER STABBED five people as students headed to class at a rural university campus in central California, before police shot and killed him, earlier today.

All the victims attacked at the University of California, Merced, were conscious when paramedics reached them, Assistant Vice Chancellor Patti Waid said.

Two of them were taken by helicopter to a hospital, but their conditions weren’t immediately known, officials said.

Three of the victims had injuries that were minor enough for them to be treated on campus, Waid said. Campus officials say some, but not all, of the victims are students.

University spokesman James Leonard said the identity of the assailant hasn’t been confirmed, but that he was a male.

California Campus Stabbings A Merced County Sheriff officer tells a student to turn around after he tried to enter the campus, which is on lockdown. AP AP

Phil Coba, a student government representative, says he has been told by several students that the stabbings started inside a classroom just after 8am local time (4pm Irish time), and continued outside before campus police shot and killed the attacker.

Student Alex Lopez was heading to class when he realised something was wrong on campus.

I was listening to a podcast, and there was a break in talking, and I just hear a gunshot.

He said police and first responders flooded the scene.

You see this stuff all over the news and stuff and you see it happen to all these other schools, but you don’t expect it to happen at your school.

The school with more than 6,600 students is about 120 miles south of Sacramento in the San Joaquin Valley. The campus in the city of Merced opened a decade ago.

Read: Death toll rises in mass shooting at Oregon college>

Read: ‘A terrific family man’: Professor killed in US college shooting>

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