A man was stabbed at the University of Winnipeg Thursday night after a man walked into a building on campus and tried to steal a laptop. A second man was stabbed off campus when witnesses attempted to stop the robber, police said.

Police say a 19-year-old was sitting at a table about 8 p.m. Thursday when a man grabbed his laptop.

When the victim held on, the man grabbed a cellphone instead, then stabbed him in the upper body and walked away, according to police.

A group of people who witnessed the incident confronted the suspect, 28, outside of the university. One of them, a man, was stabbed in the midsection before the suspect ran off.

Police were called and the Air-1 helicopter located and tracked the attacker, directing canine units and other officers to his location.

A police dog found the man hiding in a yard in the 600 block of Maryland Street in the West End. He has been charged with robbery, assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon and uttering threats.

The person stabbed inside the university received minor injuries and did not require hospitalization, while the student who was stabbed outside the university was transported to hospital in stable condition, treated and later released.

Victim came into classroom saying he'd been robbed

Christian Salada, a student at the university, was in a lecture when he said the victim came into the classroom saying he'd been robbed.

"He looked pretty distressed and he was asking if we could help him out because he had just got robbed," Salada said, adding that at the time he had no idea the other student had also been stabbed. 

At first, Salada said his professor wasn't sure if the claims were real, but eventually the class was ended. Salada said that "the last place I would have expected [a stabbing] would be in campus."

He said it can be scary walking around the campus at night and he would like to see more security measures put in place.

In particular he'd like to see students get cards they can scan to allow access to the buildings. He hopes at least there will be more security guards in future.

U of W increasing security patrols

The U of W sent an email to staff Friday morning, alerting them about the situation and urging them to "remain vigilant of surroundings at all times."

The university now says it is increasing security patrols after the stabbings.

"I can't, you know, comment on exactly what it is that we're going to do in the medium term because we haven't got there yet. But we want to get an accurate understanding of what's happened here so that we're doing the right things enhancing security resources effective monday," said spokesperson Chris Minaker.

The U of W is currently undergoing an audit of its security measures, and will be working with students, police and the community to come up with a new security strategy, Minaker said. "We want to make sure that we're doing the right things in the right way."

At this time, the university isn't considering locking its doors, Minaker said. New security measures start at the university on Monday.

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With files from Laura Glowacki