Police make arrest in deadly Cal State Fullerton stabbing

A backpack holding an incendiary device and items that could be used for an abduction were beneath the car in which a retired administrator was found stabbed to death on the campus of California State University Fullerton, authorities said Monday.

FULLERTON, Calif. — A co-worker of a retired Cal State Fullerton administrator who was fatally stabbed in a campus parking lot was behind bars Thursday for allegedly carrying out the attack.

Chuyen Van Vo, 51, was arrested Wednesday night at his Huntington Beach home for allegedly killing 57-year-old Steven Shek Keung Chan of Hacienda Heights, Fullerton Police Chief Bob Dunn said at a news conference announcing the arrest.

“We believe he acted alone,” Dunn said of the attack, which occurred around 8:30 a.m. Monday.

Police identified Vo as a co-worker of Chan — a retired administrator who had returned to CSUF to work as a consultant — but declined to elaborate on their working relationship. Police also did not disclose any potential motive for the attack.

Vo was being held without bail, according to jail records.

Despite the arrest, police said they will continue to have a beefed-up presence on campus to reassure Cal State Fullerton educators, students and staffers.

Cal State Fullerton President Fram Virjee called the killing “an isolated incident,” saying “we have no information there’s any lingering danger to the health and safety of our campus.”

“I come today with a heavy heart, with a heart full of emotion and love and caring, but also a deep sense of loss for our community,” Virjee said. “Our hearts are with Steven Chan and his family.”

Detectives believe the suspect specifically targeted Chan, Fullerton police Lt. Jon Radus said. The victim was found with multiple stab wounds inside his silver Infiniti sedan parked in a lot outside an administrative building in the 600 block of Langsdorf Drive.

A witness called 911 and said the suspect was seen running north on Langsdorf and then east on Nutwood Avenue, Radus said.

On Tuesday morning, police released a composite sketch and a description of the black, four-door sedan in which the suspect made his getaway.

Investigators found a backpack, believed to have been left by the suspect, underneath the victim’s car. An incendiary device and knife — not the one used in the killing — were found inside the satchel, along with tools that could be used in a kidnapping plot such as zip ties, wigs and other disguises, police said.

Radus initially described the victim as a retired faculty member who had returned to the campus, working in international student admissions. CSUF officials later called him “a retired administrator working as a consultant on campus.”

Virjee said he did not personally know Chan or work directly with him, but had talked with those close to him and “it is clear that he was beloved for his commitment to and passion for both Cal State Fullerton and our Titan Family.”

Virjee requested thoughts and prayers for Chan and his family.

“Life is so precious and family and friendships so dear,” Virjee said. “In the coming days, weeks, and months, we will all honor and remember Steven in our own way.”

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