Ex-student accused of ANU stabbing is charged

Man charged over alleged Australian National University stabbing

  • Ex-student charged over alleged ANU stabbing
  • Alex Ophel arrested on Monday 

A man accused of attacking four students at a university campus has been charged with a string of offences.

Alex Ophel, 24, was arrested by police after two young female students were allegedly stabbed with a knife at Australian National University in Canberra on Monday afternoon.

Police also allege he hit a male student on the head with a frying pan at nearby  Fellows Oval and later attacked a second male student in the face.

Ophel, who is an ex-student, was charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault and one count of possessing an object to be used to kill on Tuesday.

Ex-student Alex Ophel spent the night police custody and has been charged over an alleged attacking spree

Forensics officers scour for evidence at the ANU in Canberra where two students were allegedly stabbed while another two were attacked

‘No motive for the incident has been identified and police do not believe the victims knew the offender,’ ACT Police said in a statement.

The two women who were allegedly stabbed, both aged 20, remain in hospital with one in a serious but stable condition. 

Police opposed bail when Ophel briefly appeared in ACT Magistrates Court.

Ophel’s lawyer was unsure he could accurately take instructions from his client due to his mental state and asked the court for more time so he can get instructions and ‘see if he can understand me’.

The matter was adjourned until later on Tuesday.

Police are yet to determine why Ophel was at the campus on Monday.

‘We have been unable to establish a motive at this time, the man’s movements and how he came to be at ANU are currently subject of the police investigation,’  Acting Superintendent Stephanie Leonard said. 

Two women, both aged 20 who were allegedly stabbed remain in hospital. Pictured are paramedics treating patients at the scene

Police  are still trying to determine the motive behind the alleged attacked which rocked ANU

‘Obviously any violent offence is concerning. The ANU and Canberra are usually very safe places and and incidents like this are extremely rare.’ 

She was unable to comment on Ophel’s mental health state.

Police inquiries into the incident continue as ANU praised the swift response from emergency services, its security unit and bystanders who rushed to the aid of injured students.

‘I understand this incident may have caused distress among members of our community and I want to remind you that support is available. In times like these, it is essential we support one another and stay connected as a community,’ ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said in a statement.

‘I know a number of members of our community stopped to render assistance to those injured or stepped in to shepherd people away from danger.’

Anyone who witnessed or has footage of the incident and have not already spoken to police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

Lifeline 13 11 14

beyondblue 1300 22 4636

Police inquiries into Monday's alleged incident at ANU in Canberra continue


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