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Suspect arrested in stabbing of four Iowa college instructors in China

Cornell College is a private school.

By Allen Cone & Darryl Coote
Four U.S. college instructors from Iowa's Cornell College were stabbed in China Monday school officials said. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Four U.S. college instructors from Iowa's Cornell College were stabbed in China Monday school officials said. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

June 10 (UPI) -- Chinese officials said on Tuesday that a 55-year-old man was arrested in the stabbing of four U.S. private school instructors affiliated with Iowa's Cornell College on Monday.

Authorities said the suspect, a local identified only by his last name Cui, "collided" with a foreigner at Beishan Park in Jilin City, located in northeast China. That's when the man allegedly stabbed the college instructors along with a Chinese tourist who tried to stop him.

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Chinese officials did not go into details about the suspect's apprehension but its foreign ministry said none of the injuries caused on Monday were life-threatening.

"We have learned that four Cornell instructors teaching as part of a partnership with a university in China were injured in a serious incident during a daytime visit to a public park while accompanied by a faculty member of the partner institution," Cornell President Jonathan Brand wrote to students and staff.

"We have been in contact with all four instructors and are assisting them during this time. There were no students taking part in this program."

The school in China was identified as Beihua University, a state-owned public university in Jilin City, the Des Moines Register reported. The attack occurred in Beishan Park, where a temple is located.

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Graphic video and photos published on social media show people in a group on the ground covered in blood. Some of the victims are seen with cellphones to their ears. One, a man, is heard speaking English.

State Rep. Adam Zabner said that his brother, David Zabner, was one of the victims.

David Zabner, a doctoral student at Tufts in Massachusetts who previously taught at Cornell, was stabbed in the arm and is recovering at a hospital.

"He has not yet been released this morning but he's doing OK," Rep. Zabner told CBS News.

"Horrified that multiple Cornell College faculty members were brutally stabbed in China," U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, whose district serves the school, posted on X. "My team has been in communication with Cornell College & will do everything in our power to bring these Iowans home safely. Join me in praying for their health & safety."

Gov. Kim Reynolds wrote on X: "I am in touch with Iowa's federal delegation and the state department in response to this horrifying attack. Please pray for their full recovery, safe return, and their families here at home."

Sen. Joni Ernst wrote on Twitter: "We are in touch with the college and the State Department, and stand ready to further assist these Iowans."

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Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa said in a statement that she was requesting to speak with the U.S. Embassy in China to ensure that the victims receive "quality for their injuries and then get out of #China in a medically feasible manner."

Cornell College is a private liberal arts college founded in 1853 in Mount Vernon, 18 miles east of Cedar Rapids, with 1,074 students in 2022-2023.

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