The Via Center is in the 2100 block of Sixth Street. Image: Google Maps

The Berkeley private school student who stabbed an administrator in February did so because he was upset over a lost job and felt school staff were to blame, according to court papers obtained by Berkeleyside on Tuesday.

Angel Juarez, 20, had been attending the Via Center, at 2126 Sixth St., due to multiple diagnoses, including autism, police wrote. The school, in West Berkeley, serves a high-needs population, according to its website.

On Feb. 21, Juarez was in a meeting with administrators to talk about how he had lost his job “due to absences.”

Police wrote he “became upset” during the meeting, and told staff, “I’m going to kill all of you!”

He then went to a filing cabinet where he knew there was a knife. A school administrator, identified in charging documents as the school’s executive director, locked the door of the room, according to police, so Juarez couldn’t leave.

Juarez then walked up to the woman and “stabbed her twice in her back, twice in her neck and once on her head,” police wrote. The woman was treated and later released from the hospital, according to authorities.

According to its website, the Via Center “provides educational and behavioral intervention for a wide range of students with intensive needs. Our students are provided with a highly-structured, individualized, behaviorally-based program, offered in the context of a warm and family-like environment.”

After fleeing the school, Juarez tossed the knife, police said. The CHP picked him up in Albany an hour or so later.

During his interview with police, according to court papers, Juarez said he knew stabbing “was harmful” and can be fatal, and said he did it “out of anger because he lost his job and felt the administrators were to blame.”

He “acknowledged what he did was wrong and showed remorse and regret for what he had done,” police wrote.

Juarez was charged Feb. 23 by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with attempted murder, causing great bodily injury and using a knife, and assault with a deadly weapon. He could be sent to prison if convicted.

Juarez, who is from San Leandro, remains in custody and is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail. He is set for a pretrial hearing March 22 at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland.

The Alameda County sheriff’s office, which is authorized by law to release booking photographs of inmates in its custody, said in February it cannot readily do so for Berkeley cases because of issues raised by Berkeley police investigators.

BPD has said in the past that releasing booking photographs can jeopardize cases. The Alameda County district attorney’s office has said previously, however, it is not aware of any cases where this has caused a problem. Other agencies, both nationally and in the Bay Area, release booking photographs with much more frequency than Berkeley.

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...