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Suspect sought in ‘targeted’ assault, slashing at SUNY Buffalo State

The attack on a SUNY Buffalo State student early Monday morning outside the Student Apartment Complex may have been in retaliation for an earlier incident off-campus over the weekend, and not a random crime, University Police said Monday.

One student was slashed in his arms, back and torso “numerous” times by the unknown assailant. Another student was bruised in the fight, which occurred at about 2:30 a.m.

The two victims, both men from out of town and residents of the complex, were treated at Sisters Hospital for their injuries and released. Police believe the weapon was a box cutter or razor.

Buff State alerted all students this morning through an automated message system, and University Police have bolstered their presence at the residence hall “for visibility and presence and safety,” even calling in more officers, Chief Peter Carey said. He also noted that safety escorts are always available and other processes are in place to protect students.

University Police are now following up on some information on the suspect and are reviewing video from cameras on the apartment complex, Carey said. If they are not able to pinpoint the suspect’s identity from interviews with the victims and others, he said, police may release photos “to get the community’s help in identifying him.”

However, Carey said, officials now believe it “wasn’t a random attack.”

“The victim of the assault was the intended victim,” Carey said. “While it’s still upsetting that the incident took place, it is a targeted assault, so we don’t believe anyone else is in jeopardy.”

That hasn’t been completely confirmed yet, he noted, as police have yet to fully interview the main victim, who “suffered some pretty good injuries,” Carey said, citing “numerous stitches and staples to close up the wounds.”

Police do not yet have the name of the suspect, who is still being sought. He has been described as an unshaven black male, between the ages of 18 and 22, with short hair, about 6 feet tall, and wearing a white T-shirt, gray pants and yellow-and-black sneakers.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call University Police at 878-6333 or its Confidential Tip Line at 878-3166.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com