Two Dead After Knife Attack at Trade School

- Advertisement -

On Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at a Manassas, Virginia, training center for electrical workers, police shot and killed a man suspected of stabbing one person to death and critically injuring another within the facility. 

Authorities identified the assailant as 26-year-old Philip Austin Brant from Woodbridge, who confronted Prince William County Police with a knife on their arrival at the union apprenticeship center around 3:30 p.m. Despite demands to surrender the weapon, Brant advanced on the officers, prompting two of them to discharge their firearms, resulting in Brant’s death.

During a press conference, Police Chief Peter Newsham said that Brant initiated the assault by drawing a knife from a backpack and stabbing the first victim several times. The second victim was similarly attacked in a different classroom. 

The victims were transported to nearby hospitals. One of them, 23-year-old Elijah Islam Safadi of Manassas, died from his injuries. The second victim, a 23-year-old man from Fairfax, whose name has been withheld, was reported in critical condition. The investigation into Brant’s motive is ongoing as authorities work to understand the factors leading to this tragic outcome.

Chief Newsham reflected on the day’s events and conveyed his deep sympathy for the victims’ families. “Everyone found it to be a horrific situation,” he said. “There was no altercation; he simply pulled out a weapon and began stabbing a student directly.”

He highlighted the difficult situation faced by the officers, who were compelled to use lethal force when confronted by Brant. The officers involved, with five and 1.5 years of experience, were not harmed and have been placed on routine paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

Safadi’s relatives revealed that he was expecting a child. The victim, who diligently pursued a career as an electrician, was enrolled at the trade school in Manassas to advance his profession.

In a heartfelt statement from his family, they expressed, “He was exceptional. Each day, he rose to work in his chosen field of electricity. He adored his five brothers immensely and was on the verge of embracing fatherhood.”

Responding to the tragedy, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 26, which jointly operates the training center with the National Electrical Contractors Association, announced the facility’s closure for the week. 

A message from Local President Thomas Myers indicated the community’s need for answers during this challenging time, even as direct responses remain pending.

Officials have mentioned that officers’ body camera footage is under review, with decisions about its public release expected within 30 days. Police are asking for anyone with information to contact them.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

━ latest articles

━ explore more

━ more articles like this