A student at the University of Southern California fatally stabbed a professor on campus Friday afternoon, according to reports. Authorities say the stabbing resulted from a “personal dispute” and that campus and public safety are not in danger.
Campus security officers apprehended the suspect, a male student in his early 20s, shortly after the incident and turned him over to the Los Angeles police on Saturday. Police have not yet disclosed the name of the suspect or any additional details about the event, which occurred at around 4:30 p.m. on Friday in the Seeley G. Mudd building on campus.
“This was not a random act of violence,” according to a release from USC’s Department of Public Safety. “The Los Angeles Police Department believes this was the result of personal dispute.”
According to a letter written by University President C.L. Max Nikias, the victim was a psychology professor named Bosco Tjan, an expert on perception and vision cognition, and the co-director of USC’s Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging Center. He had taught at USC since 2001.
Chris Purington, project manager at Tjan’s lab, gave a tearful interview with the Associated Press and gave personal insights about his colleague, who was 50 years old and married with one son.
“He was somebody who really cared about people. I know he cared about me,” Purington told the Associated Press. “He mentored people, and he looked out for them. He spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be a mentor and guide people. … People talk about scientists as very cold or robotic. Bosco is a guy that he could talk to anybody about anything.”