Former student arrested for stabbing incident at university

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – A former student of the Australian National University (ANU), previously accused of attempting to murder his classmates, has been arrested following a stabbing incident on campus. The suspect, 24-year-old Alex Ophel, was taken into custody after two female students, both 20 years old, were attacked with a knife on Monday afternoon.

Emergency services promptly arrived at the scene, and the victims were rushed to the hospital. One of the women is currently in a critical condition, while the other is stable. A 34-year-old man was also assaulted during the incident, sustaining minor injuries, but did not require hospitalization.

Ophel, who has not yet been charged for the recent incident, was previously involved in a violent attack at the same university in 2017. He had assaulted his tutor and four classmates with a baseball bat, causing serious injuries including a broken arm. Despite being charged with five counts of attempted murder, Ophel was found not guilty due to mental impairment.

The former student, diagnosed with schizophrenia, had reportedly pulled out the bat from a duffel bag and started attacking people in his statistics class. The motivation behind his latest violent act at the university remains unclear.

The incident prompted a swift response from ACT Policing and ACT Ambulance Service, who arrived at the scene at 2:45 pm. ANU promptly informed staff and students about the situation via email, assuring them that the individual was in police custody and posed no threat to the community. The university also advised students to avoid Fellows Oval, near the Chifley Library.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt expressed his gratitude to the emergency services and campus security for their quick and efficient response. The university has listed support services on its website for staff and students affected by the incident. Witnesses have been urged to contact authorities.