Police are searching for a suspect accused of fatally stabbing a Cal State Fullerton consultant in a campus parking lot Monday.
Police say investigators found the suspect’s backpack underneath Steven Shek Keung Chan’s vehicle, containing zip ties, wigs and other disguise materials “consistent with a kidnapping attempt or plot.”
“It would indicate it was a kidnapping kit,” Fullerton police Lt. Jon Radus tells PEOPLE about the materials found. “We believe there is a possibility that was part of the original plan.”
A knife was also found in the backpack but police say it was not the murder weapon.
The motive behind the attack is unclear but investigators believe that Chan, 57, who was found in his car, was specifically targeted.
“Our investigation will look into all sort of angles of what may have occurred and why,” Radus says. “It was a gruesome scene and our thoughts go out to the family of the victim.”
Radus says it is unknown if Chan knew his attacker.
“We don’t know at this point,” he says. “There are a lot of possibilities.”
Officers were called to a parking lot near the College Park building about 8:30 a.m. Monday after a witness reported a “male down, bleeding from the head.”
“The witness did see what he described as an altercation,” Radus says. “The altercation was in and around the car.”
Officers found Chan inside his silver Infiniti with numerous stab wounds. He died at the scene.
The suspect was described as an Asian male with black hair in his mid-20s, wearing a black windbreaker and black pants. He fled the scene in a black BMW 4-door sedan — possibly a newer model X6 — with black wheels and dark tinted windows.
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Police suspect Chan’s killer injured himself during the altercation and might have cuts on one or both hands.
At the time of the stabbing, Radus says school police were filming an active shooter video “but they weren’t at the location where the homicide occurred.”
Chan was employed with the university as its director of budget and finance and student services for university extended education for almost 10 years. He retired in 2017.
Chan came back to work as a special consultant in early 2019, according to Cal State Fullerton President Fram Virjee.
“I did not have the honor of knowing Steven personally or working with him directly, but over the past few years, in providing a shoulder to lean on for those who were close to him, it is clear that he was beloved for his commitment to and passion for both Cal State Fullerton and our Titan Family,” Virjee wrote in a letter on the university’s website.
Anyone with information about Chan’s murder is asked to contact Fullerton Police Detective Victoria Chandler at (714) 738-6754 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who want to remain anonymous can call the Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1 (855) TIP-OCCS or you can visit OCCrimeStoppers.