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‘I’m grateful that I’m alive’: Sole survivor in Davis stabbings recalls attack from hospital bed

<i>KCRA</i><br/>Kimberlee Guillory
Kimberlee Guillory

By Michelle Bandur

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    SACRAMENTO, California (KCRA) — Kimberlee Guillory, 64, was the sole survivor of the stabbing attacks that rattled the small college town of Davis for about a week.

She had been stabbed the night of May 1 at a homeless encampment in Davis. She was the third attack and the only survivor.

“I’m grateful that I’m alive and that I wasn’t killed,” Guillory said from her hospital bed at UC Davis Medical Center.

Guillory said she is hurting physically from her three stab wounds. She said the knife sliced her liver, punctured her kidney and left her with internal injuries. She underwent surgery right after the stabbings.

“I was so scared when he started punching me. I thought that’s what he was doing, was punching me,” Guillory said. “I didn’t realize he was stabbing me until afterwards.”

She said she was trying to keep her dog safe during the attack.

“Everything just went kind of black from there,” Guillory said.

In the days leading up to her attack, Guillory and her friends in the Davis homeless community were living in fear with two unsolved murders.

They set up their tents close together near 2nd and L streets, away from the parks where the first two killings happened.

“We thought that we would be safe all together,” she said.

A man with a knife slashed open her tent, letting her get a good look at him.

“It was like there was light on him for some reason,” she said. “I don’t know where the light came from but I could see his face and his hair clearly.”

She was able to give a detailed description to police, who captured the suspect just two days later.

“I’m glad that they got him. I was praying for that, that nobody else will have to go through this,” Guillory said.

Although she’s grateful to be alive, Guillory thinks of the two men who didn’t survive.

“Me and the other two victims never did anything to him. There was no reason for him to come after people that that he didn’t even know,” she said.

The grandmother said she can’t get the image of his face out of her head and she hopes he will never leave prison. More than that, she believes he deserves the death penalty.

Guillory’s family explained how she became homeless two and a half years ago.

She left her own home to provide round-the-clock care for one of her daughters who was battling pancreatic cancer.

When her daughter passed away, at the age of 33, Guillory found she couldn’t move back to her house, and her children say she was too stubborn to move in with them.

As she’s been waiting for low-income housing, she was living in a tent because she wasn’t allowed to bring her dog to the shelter.

Friends and family have set up a GoFundMe for Guillory to get back on her feet and for medical expenses.

Authorities in Davis on Thursday announced the arrest of 21-year-old Carlos Dominguez in connection with the stabbings. According to Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel, Dominguez meets the definition of a serial killer.

Dominguez, a former UC Davis student, is facing two murder charges for the deaths of David Breaux and Karim Abou Najm. He’s also been charged with attempted murder for the stabbing of Guillory that left her in critical condition.

On Friday, Dominguez pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder with enhancements for premeditated murder, multiple murders and for using a deadly weapon.

Breaux was killed in Davis’ Central Park. He was a well-known community member and a positive presence around town, often referred to as the “Compassion Guy” for asking others about their definition of “compassion.”

Two days later, Najm, a 20-year-old UC Davis student, was stabbed and killed at Davis’ Sycamore Park while going home from an undergraduate awards ceremony.

Dominguez was taken into custody Wednesday after about 15 people called authorities and reported seeing a person who was “a very close match” to the description. Pytel said he was initially booked for having a large hunting knife in his backpack when he was picked up. It’s unclear if that was the weapon in the attacks. He was compliant during his arrest, Pytel said.

Dominguez did not appear to know the victims or target two of them because they were homeless, Pytel said.

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