ROHNERT PARK (CBS SF) — A 19-year-old Santa Rosa man was in custody on murder charges after a fatal stabbing inside a Sonoma State University housing unit, officials announced Monday.
Petaluma Police Lt. Tim Lyons said Tyler Bratton was being held without bail in the Sonoma County jail after he was taken into custody on-campus Sunday evening.
“This is not a random act,” said Lyons, who added that Bratton and the victim — a 24-year-old Sonoma County resident — were acquaintances and neither were students at the university. “Everyone involved knew each other.”
Investigators also recovered a bloody knife near the victim’s body. They were conducting interviews with the student the two men were visiting and searching through a backpack to attempt to determine a motive for the fatal attack.
Police received reports of the stabbing at 5:53 p.m. in the Sauvignon Village residential community. University police and fire department personnel responded and found the victim dead of stab wounds.
A Sonoma State student named Kyle Stickels told KPIX 5 he believes he may have seen the assailant just after the incident happened.
“We heard some screaming and I ran outside to see what was going on, because it was obvious; no joking around, screaming,” said Stickels. “I looked around and there was a guy. He started walking down the stairs. And I looked at him and he came around and then I saw the right side of him. And his arm was all bloody and he was carrying a knife. And I just kind of stared at him. And he looked at me and he said, ‘I was attacked.’ And at that point, me and my friends started telling everyone to get inside.”
Stickels said that while the man was bloody, he didn’t seem hurt.
“It wasn’t his injuries. It wasn’t his blood. He was moving fine,” he said.
Authorities were not identifying the victim pending notification of next of kin.
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