x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Medical student held over New Jersey university murder

Student from Canada has been charged with killing a classmate from New Jersey on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico // A man has been charged with killing a medical school classmate from New Jersey and is being held under psychiatric observation on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.

Prosecutor Guillano Schoop said the student, MK, stabbed 24-year-old Kan Mei Chan to death in a Caribbean Medical University dormitory on Friday as she rushed to help a professor who MK had also stabbed.

MK, 20, was arrested at the scene, and he is still being evaluated by psychiatrists, Schoop said.

MK had locked himself out of his room that night and was waiting for help when he got into an argument with a teacher living in the dorm, said Radoslaw Lewkowski, a director at the university.

The two-story dorm, about 30 minutes away from campus, is home to dozens of students and teachers.

Lewkowski said the Jersey City woman was the first to enter the room after several students heard cries for help and rushed to the second floor. She was stabbed twice in the stomach, while the teacher underwent surgery and is expected to recover, he said. The teacher's name was not released.

Lewkowski said MK, who is from Canada, had transferred from a university in Egypt more than a month ago, citing political instability.

"We checked the credentials before he was admitted," Lewkowski said. "He was recommended by three doctors and the dean of the medical school ... We are really, really in shock. He did not have any kind of signs. He was not threatening anyone. He was kind of a shy guy."

MK had sought to delay his admission for a couple of months so his twin brother could join him at the medical school, Lewkowski said.

Both MK and Chan were expected to finish school on July 29 before taking final exams and then leave for the US to do clinical rotations, he said.

Lewkowski said the university is offering counseling to students but will not consider new security measures.

"There is really not much we can do to prevent such a thing," he said. "Those things are sometimes unpredictable."

A woman who answered the phone at a restaurant owned by Chan's family in New Jersey hung up and refused to comment.

It is unclear when MK will appear before a judge. In Curacao, a suspect can be detained up to four months without a court hearing, Schoop said.

MK's court-appointed attorney, Marius Romer, said his client might be transferred to a mental institution pending a psychiatric evaluation. He said doctors have told him that MK is not coherent and is in a state of shock.

"Somebody did something terrible," he said. "We have to take several measures on humanitarian grounds."


This article has been amended since original publication. AP initially reported that the murder suspect was from Dubai. In fact, the man is from Canada and had transferred from a university in Egypt.