UPDATE: Prince William Officers Shot Suspect During Deadly Attack in Trade School Classroom

Two men were stabbed, one of whom died from his injuries


UPDATE: Feb. 14, 2024 | 11:30 a.m. As the investigation into the officer-involved shooting that occurred at an apprenticeship training center located at 7016 Infantry Ridge Road in Manassas, Feb. 13, progresses, preliminary details are being released to keep our community informed of the events prior and up to the officer’s arrival on scene. 

According to Lt. Jonathan Perok, Prince William Police received multiple 911 calls, around 3:20 p.m. Tuesday,  reporting a stabbing and an active-violence incident at the NECA Joint Apprenticeships Training Committee [JATC] School at 7016 Infantry Ridge Road in Manassas. Police were immediately dispatched to the scene. 

Initial information indicated two adult men had been stabbed and the suspect was armed with a knife. 

According to Lt. Jonathan Perok, preliminary information indicates the first stabbing occurred in a classroom within the center where the suspect and at least one of the victims were present along with several other students.

"For reasons still under investigation, the suspect approached the victim, pulled a knife from a backpack, and began stabbing the victim multiple times," Perok said.  "Those present inside the room dispersed as the suspect continued his assault on the victim."

The initial stabbing victim collapsed inside the classroom where the altercation began.

The suspect then exited the classroom. He encountered the second victim and stabbed him while inside another classroom.

The second victim exited the building and collapsed in the parking lot.

Meanwhile, police arrived on the scene, having responded within minutes of the first 911 call.

They approached the building where they encountered the presumed suspect at the entrance door. Officers instantly engaged the suspect who was armed with a knife.

"Although the officers reportedly issued commands for the suspect to drop the knife, he moved towards the officers," Perok said.  "In response, two uniformed police officers opened fire from their department-issued handguns, striking the suspect."

Police then rushed to check his condition. As officers were assessing the suspect’s condition, additional officers searched the building for victims.

Both victims were transported to area hospitals where one of the victims, Elijah Islam Safadi,  died from his injuries. The surviving victim, a 23-year-old man, remains hospitalized and in critical condition.

The suspect, Philip Austin Brant, 26, was pronounced dead on the scene.

According to Perok, the suspect and two victims were students of the school who knew one another. 

The investigation into the incident continues to be led by the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) at the request of Prince William Police Chief Peter Newsham.

"Additional details will be released as more information becomes available," Perok said. "Both officers involved in the shooting were placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation."

The suspect was identified as Philip Austin Brant, 26 of Woodbridge, Va.

The deceased victim in the stabbing was identified as Elijah Islam Safadi, 23, of Manassas

The surviving victim in the stabbing was identified as a 23-year-old Fairfax man. 

The officers involved had five years and one and a half years of service, respectively, both were assigned to uniformed patrol operations.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Prince William County Police Department tipline at 703.792.7000 or submit a webtip to: pwcva.gov/policetip. Any tips received will be relayed to CIRT investigators.

According to its website, the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee [JATC] is responsible for the training of the electrical and telecommunication workers employed by all signatory contractors of Local Union 26 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) which covers the Washington, DC metropolitan area and Central to Southwestern Virginia.

Watch the YouTube video by WUSA9 News team 

Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation – officers responded to an apprenticeship training center located in the 7000 block of Infantry Ridge Road in Manassas (20109), Feb. 13 at 3:23 p.m., for an initial report of a stabbing.

When officers arrived, they encountered a presumed male suspect near the front entrance armed with a knife. More than one officer opened fire from their department-issued handguns, striking the suspect who was pronounced dead on the scene.

Two stabbing victims who were believed to be involved in an initial altercation were located on the scene and provided first-aid before being transported to area hospitals where their current conditions are unknown. No other victims were located.

The incident is currently contained, and there is no active threat to the surrounding community.

The Prince William County Police Department, at the request of Chief Peter Newsham, has asked for assistance from the regional Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) to oversee the investigation as an independent body.

UPDATE, Feb. 13, 7 p.m.:  One of the victims involved in the initial stabbing altercation with the suspect has died.

All parties involved in the incident were adult males. The surviving victim remains hospitalized in critical condition. A knife was recovered at the scene.

The identities of the deceased will be released pending notifications of their next of kin.

CIRT investigators have arrived on the scene and will be assuming the investigation. Further updates will be released when available. The investigation continues. 

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