Steven Shek Keung Chan was stabbed fatally on the campus of California State University Fullerton on Monday morning, the first day of the academic year. He was described by the university as a retired administrator who was hired to work as a consultant for the fall semester. The attack itself took place at approximately 8:30 AM, local time, according to KTLA. Authorities found Chan in his car, bleeding from the head and suffering from several stab wounds. Paramedics declared him dead at the scene. The suspect in Chan’s murder is still at large and a manhunt is underway. Authorities believe the attack was targeted.
Chan’s identity was not immediately disclosed by the police. Rather, he was described as an Asian man in his fifties. One of the campus updates tweeted by the university following the traumatic event read, “The victim involved was in his late 50s, and was a retired administrator working as a consultant on campus. Previous reports incorrectly indicate he was a faculty member.”
Several hours after the incident took place, Fullerton Police Department confirmed Chan’s identity in an Instagram post/Twitter statement. The statement read in part, “The victim has been identified as Steven Shek Keung Chan (57 years old), from Hacienda Heights.”
Chan’s death took place on the first day of the academic year for Cal State Fullerton, but actual classes are set to begin on Saturday, according to KTLA.
Here’s what you need to know:
Chan Was Working in the International Relations Office at the Time of His Death
According to Los Angeles Magazine, Chan was a former administrator who was signed on to work as a consultant in the International Relations Office at the time of his death. He was not, however, a faculty member, as early reports noted.
An archived catalog for the Cal State administration lists a Steven Chan has having been the director of budget and finance, as well as social services, for the university’s extended education program. A letter from the Cal State Fullerton president, Fram Virjee, read in part,
Steven, who served as our CSUF Director of Budget and Finance and Student Services for University Extended Education from 2009 until his retirement in 2017, returned to campus as a special consultant in early 2019 to provide his sage guidance and wisdom. I did not have the honor of knowing Steven personally or working with him directly, but over the past few hours, in providing a shoulder to lean on for those who were close to him, it is clear that he was beloved for his commitment to and passion for both Cal State Fullerton and our Titan Family.
Multiple publications reported that Chan’s fatal stabbing took place at the same time that police were filming active shooter scenarios near the university library; the videos were to be used as educational tools for university employees and students, The Los Angeles Times reports. The filming was canceled after word of the stabbing spread.
Police Say They Have Reason to Believe the Attack Was Targeted
Following the incident, authorities described the suspect as an asian male in his twenties, who had black hair and was dressed in all-black.
Per KTLA, Fullerton Police Department Lieutenant Jon Radus said, “There is obviously the belief at this particular point in time that the faculty member … was targeted. Of course that will be part of our investigation.”
Radus added, “We don’t believe there is a random stabber on the loose at this particular time.” As stated above, the suspect is still at large, and an extensive manhunt is underway.
An ‘Incendiary Device’ Was Found Beneath Chan’s Vehicle, Authorities Say
Authorities found an “incendiary” device beneath Chan’s car following the incident. Lt. Radus didn’t go into details about the device, but he did describe it as “crude” and as “something capable of starting a fire,” per The Los Angeles Times. He also noted that the device would have had to been set off manually.
Authorities also found items that they believe indicated intent to kidnap, though Radus did not go into detail about what those items were.
Following news of the incident, Cal State Fullerton issued an emergency bulletin that offered counseling and psychological services for “any student who felt impacted by this tragic situation.” The university’s president, Framroze Virjee, also issued a statement of condolences to Chan’s family.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of the victim and all those affected by this tragic and senseless loss,” Virjee said. “The safety and support of our Titan family remains our top priority, now and in the hours and days to come.”
This is a developing post and will be updated.