A search is underway for the man who stabbed and killed a retired administrator on the Cal State Fullerton campus Monday, the first day of the university’s academic year, authorities said.
Officers responded to the 600 block of Nutwood Avenue around 8:30 a.m. to a report of a man down and bleeding from the head, according to Fullerton Police Department Lt. Jon Radus.
When they arrived, officers found the victim — identified as 57-year-old Steven Shek Keung Chan of Hacienda Heights — inside in an Infiniti sedan in the parking lot south of College Park building, Radus said. The man had stab wounds all over his body.
He was pronounced dead at the scene. The university said the victim was as a retired administrator who worked as a consultant on campus.
He was not a faculty member, which is how Radus described him at a late morning news conference. The lieutenant also told reporters the victim was a retired annuitant and had returned to campus, saying the man worked in international student registration.
In a letter to the campus community, CSUF President Framroze Virjee said Chan was director of the Budget and Finance and Student Services for University Extended Education from 2009 until he retired in 2017.
Early this year, Chan returned to the school “provide his sage guidance and wisdom” as a special consultant, Virjee said.
“In the coming days, weeks, and months, we will all honor and remember Steven in our own way,” the president wrote. “But today and tonight, I ask and encourage you, in honor of Steven, to reach out to those you love and tell them so. Think good thoughts or say a prayer for Steven and his family.”
A motive for the fatal stabbing was not immediately known, but police do not believe the incident was a random attack.
“There is obviously the belief at this particular point in time that the faculty member … was targeted,” Radus said. “Of course that will be part of our investigation.”
Furthering that belief, an Orange County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad found an “incendiary device” inside a backpack left under the victim’s car, according to the lieutenant. The bag also contained items that could be used to stab and kidnap someone.
“It’s unknown if or why the suspect left that backpack there,” Radus said.
The weapon used in the killing was not among the items found in the bag, according to investigators.
The assailant was last seen heading eastbound on Nutwood Avenue. He was not yet been found despite an extensive search of Fullerton and the surrounding areas that included the use of sheriff’s bloodhounds.
Police described the wanted individual as an Asian man in his mid-20s who has black hair. He was last seen wearing black shirt and black pants.
“Do not confront suspect,” university officials said in a statement.
People are being asked to avoid the area of the 600 block of Langsdorf Drive amid the ongoing police activity. Anyone whose vehicle is parked in the section of the lot blocked off by crime scene tape will have to wait to retrieve their vehicle, the university tweeted.
As of mid-afternoon, there was still a major police presence at the scene. Radus expected investigators would remain on scene into the evening hours.
The homicide took place amid preparations for the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year, which started Monday, and the fall semester. Classes are set to begin Saturday.
Students and staff can expect to see more officers on campus when they return for the new school year.
“I can tell you that you will see an increased police presence on the campus, from both the Cal State Fullerton Police Department as well as the Fullerton Police Department over the next week as students do come and get ready for school to start,” Radus said.
Anyone with information is urged to call Fullerton police at 714-738-8600.
Counseling and support services are being offered by Cal State Fullerton, and information can be found here.
KTLA’s Jennifer Thang contributed to this story.