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Canada: Professor, 2 students stabbed at Waterloo University, police say attack was hate-motivated

A professor and two students were stabbed during a class on gender issues at Canada’s University of Waterloo.

According to the police, a suspect has been charged and the attack was hate-motivated.

Waterloo Regional Police say Geovanny Villalba-Aleman, an international student who had been studying at the University of Waterloo, faces three counts of aggravated assault, four counts of assault with a weapon and two counts of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

“The accused targeted a gender studies class and investigators believe this was a hate-motivated incident related to gender expression and gender identity,” Waterloo police said in a statement.

A 38-year-old female professor, a 20-year-old female student and 19-year-old male student were sent to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

About 40 students were in the class at the time of incident.

Police say the accused was found in the building after the stabbing and arrested. He appeared in court for a bail hearing on Thursday.

Nick Manning, associate vice president of communications for the University of Waterloo, said the suspect graduated from the university at the end of the fall term in 2022.

Manning said that the stabbing occurred in Philosophy 202, which, according to the university website, focuses on “gender issues.”

A website description of the course said it “will examine the construction of gender in the history of philosophy through contemporary discussions. What is gender? How do we “do” gender? How can we “undo” gender — and do we want to?”

“Our entire community is really concerned that this would happen here. It’s a big shock,” Manning said.


Classes scheduled for Wednesday evening in Hagey Hall, where the attack took place, were canceled, but all other campus operations will proceed as usual, the university said in a tweet.


In a written statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the stabbings “horrifying and unacceptable.”

“This type of violence must always be condemned. Our thoughts are with the professor and two students who were injured,” he said.

(With inputs from AP)

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Updated: 29 Jun 2023, 11:41 PM IST

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