, Salem, MA

Local News

September 26, 2013

Suspect in stabbing at Salem State University arrested

SSU spokesperson: Wells is in custody in New York


Wells had been arrested in Salem three weeks ago for trespassing at Bertram Field late at night and violating the city’s knife ordinance.

Wells is a SSU student, a senior, who took a leave of absence in the beginning of September, Cady said.

Salem police issued a “be on the lookout” bulletin for Wells’ brown 1999 Toyota Camry just after 11 a.m. Salem State officials sent out a campus-wide bulletin alerting the university of the incident at 11:46 a.m.

The city also sent out a reverse-911 message yesterday afternoon with a description of the suspect and vehicle.

Both victims are expected to be OK, Cady said. The bus driver was taken to the hospital with minor, non-life-threatening injuries and was released yesterday. The female victim declined to be taken to the hospital.

Salem State President Patricia Meservey praised the bus driver who “bravely intervened when he saw that one of our students was being assaulted.”

Police continued to search for Wells yesterday evening and had a warrant for his arrest. The warrant is for two counts of assault with intent to murder and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, Cady said.

Classes are set to resume as usual at Salem State today.

Passengers do not have to show any type of student identification to ride the shuttle buses, which run a loop between Salem State’s north, south and central campuses.

“He could have just boarded one of the buses (without being a student),” Cady said.

SSU undergraduate Vova Harlov said he saw numerous police vehicles, the bus where the stabbing occurred and helicopters circling overhead as he arrived to Central Campus around 11:30 a.m.

Harlov had been in class for about five minutes when the campus was put in lockdown; he and his classmates remained there for more than two hours.

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