Student arrested after stabbing at private school

The Via Center is in the 2100 block of Sixth Street. Image: Google Maps

Update, 4:50 p.m. Police arrested a 20-year-old San Leandro student after a large search Tuesday afternoon following the stabbing of a staff member at his West Berkeley private school. Police said the stabbing happened just before 1:45 p.m. in the 2100 block of Sixth Street. The location was identified over the scanner as the Via Center, a school for high-needs students from 5-22 years old. Berkeley police officers searched West Berkeley for the young man, identified as Angel Juarez, who reportedly ran away from campus holding a large knife. Police said he was “armed and dangerous” and urged community members to shelter in place until he was in custody. According to the scanner, Juarez is autistic, but police have not confirmed this to the media. The CHP found Juarez in Albany, at I-80 and Buchanan, and detained him at about 2:45 p.m. BPD ultimately took him into custody. The school staffer who was stabbed is expected to survive.

The investigation is ongoing. Berkeleyside provided live updates during the search using both official and unofficial information. They appear below. Berkeleyside also sent a news alert as the incident was unfolding. Don’t miss email news alerts from Berkeleyside.

Update, 3:43 p.m. BPD spokesman Frankel said the victim is not the principal, but had no further information.

The school’s executive team, according to its website, includes an executive director, a school administrator and an office manager. According to the report over the scanner, as relayed by dispatch, the principal was identified as the victim.


Update, 3:15 p.m. BPD confirms Juarez is in custody after being stopped by the CHP at Buchanan and I-80 in Albany, about 2 miles from the school where the stabbing happened. BPD identified the victim as a female staffer at the private school, but has not confirmed her role. BPD spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel said he is still trying to find out the woman’s position at the school, and said her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. Frankel said further information about whether Juarez would be arrested, and for what, is still being worked out.

“The shelter in place advisory is no longer in effect,” BPD said in its latest Nixle alert.

Update, 2:55 p.m. The Via Center serves students “who have been unsuccessful in multiple public and other non-public programs,” according to its website. The school accepts students from 5-22 years old, “and provides educational and behavioral intervention for a wide range of students with intensive needs.”

The school declined to comment about the situation shortly before 3 p.m.

Update, 2:44 p.m. According to scanner traffic, officers from the California Highway Patrol located Juarez and took him into custody at Buchanan Street and Interstate 80 in Albany.


Juarez does not have the knife with him, police said.

Berkeleyside has requested confirmation from BPD.

Update, 2:41 p.m. Police are advising community members in West Berkeley to “shelter in place” after a stabbing by a student at a private school on Sixth Street.

Police have identified the student as 20-year-old Angel Juarez, who had a “large knife” with him when he ran from the school, and was described as a Hispanic man with brown hair and brown eyes, 5 feet tall and 100 pounds. He was wearing a long-sleeved burgundy shirt, black sneakers and black pants, police said in a Nixle alert.

According to BPD, dispatch got a call just before 1:45 p.m. about the stabbing, in the 2100 block of Sixth Street. Police identified the victim as a staff member at the school and said he or she had been taken to the hospital for treatment. No further information was provided.


Juarez was last seen running westbound on University Avenue over the Highway 80 overpass.

Police said he is “considered armed and dangerous.”

Officers are searching the Marina, Aquatic Park, and areas of West Berkeley for him.

Original story, 2:32 p.m. Police are searching for an armed student from a West Berkeley private school linked to the stabbing of the school principal on Tuesday afternoon, according to unconfirmed scanner information.

Berkeley police have not responded to a request for information.

According to the scanner, the stabbing took place at 2126 Sixth St., which is the Via Center, a “non-public, non-profit school,” according to its website.

The young man, who is from San Leandro, was said to be autistic, and had a knife with him when he fled from the school.

He was reportedly seen running westbound on University Avenue. Police were searching the area.

Police have had the emergency beeper on the radio since shortly after 2 p.m. and are looking for the student.

The school went on lockdown after the incident, according to scanner info.

Police transported someone to Highland Hospital with injuries.

Berkeleyside will update this post when additional information becomes available.

This story was updated throughout the day due to the developing nature of events.