waterloo stabbing

Stabbing during gender studies class at Waterloo university considered hate-motivated

A man who allegedly targeted a gender studies classroom at the University of Waterloo yesterday, stabbing three people, is now in custody and facing a handful of charges in what is being considered a hate-motivated attack due to the nature of the course.

Local police responded to the multiple stabbing at the institution's Hagey Hall around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, finding two students and a professor suffering from serious but thankfully non-life-threatening injuries in the room of 40 or so people.

The class, Philosophy 202, is described as "examining the construction of gender in the history of philosophy through contemporary discussions," focusing on questions like "what is gender? How do we 'do' gender? How can we 'undo' gender — and do we want to?"

Authorities believe that this subject matter of gender expression and gender identity was what triggered the accused, an international student who had graduated from the school, to commit the act of violence that is being called disturbing, senseless and definitely pre-meditated.

"We denounce all forms of hate in Waterloo Region and beyond and we stand with those who are targeted by these crimes," Waterloo Regional Police said in a press update this afternoon in which they also noted the timing of the incident, at the end of Pride month, and further described what happened.

"The accused was not a member of the class but spoke with the professor in the classroom before attacking her with two large knives without provocation," said Waterloo Police Chief Mark Crowell.

"Several students attempted to stop the attack while others fled the room. While students were trying to escape, the accused stabbed two students and attempted to stab a third."

Twenty-four-year-old Geovanny Villalba-Aleman, who was quickly apprehended on scene after first posing as a victim, is being charged with four counts of assault with a weapon, three counts of aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and one count of mischief under $5,000.

"We hope that this incident does not diminish from Pride celebrations, but instead encourages us all to come together, to continue to celebrate and to continue to inspire love over hate," police said, noting that there is no further threat to the public now that Villalba-Aleman, who it appears acted alone, is under arrest.

Lead photo by

@uofwaterloo


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