The University of British Columbia is urging students to remain vigilant after a violent on-campus attack Thursday afternoon that left a woman in serious condition.

University RCMP say the woman was attacked just after 4 p.m. Thursday in the basement of the UBC Centre for Advanced Wood Processing building.

"The female victim, who sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries, advised that she had intervened in an altercation between a man and a woman," University RCMP said in a statement. "The victim has been transported to a local area hospital and is receiving treatment."

Police have not said if the victim is a student. It appears a weapon was used in the attack.

RCMP say the male suspect in the attack ran from the scene, as did the woman involved in the initial altercation. Neither has been found.

UBC and the RCMP are increasing security around campus in light of the attack.

“We are urging students to be vigilant and to keep an eye on their surroundings,” said UBC spokesperson Kurt Heinrich on Friday.

Campus security is working closely with RCMP on the investigation. Forensic investigators spent hours combing through the crime scene Thursday evening. The building re-opened in time for students to attend class Friday morning.


“Obviously people are really concerned and they have questions, understandably,” Heinrich said. “Our message is we are doing everything as a university that we can, in order to keep our students safe and support the RCMP investigation.”

University RCMP said they were not available for an interview Friday morning, saying in an email to CTV News: “The investigation is ongoing and remains a top priority.”

The suspect is described as an Asian man in his mid-20s with short, dark hair, dark eyes and a square face. Mounties said he is about six feet tall and has a deep voice with a slight accent, smelled of cigarette smoke and may have scratches on the right side of his face and neck.

According to police, the suspect was last seen wearing a black puffy jacket, dark jeans and white shoes.

There is no description of the woman who ran from the scene. Police have not indicated whether she may have been injured as well.

Anyone who might have witnessed the altercation or who has any other information that could advance the investigation is asked to contact police at 604-224-1322.