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Pullman police seek 4 suspects in faculty member assault

Pullman police are looking for four college-age suspects in a beating that left a Washington State University faculty member hospitalized in critical condition.

Detectives released photos Monday of three men and one woman in hopes of solving the case tinged with rumors that it may have been a hate crime.

The WSU faculty member, David Warner, teaches in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies, and is still in critical condition at Providence Sacred Heart Hospital after being hit in the head.

Police said surveillance video of the parking lot where the fight occurred early Saturday shows several witnesses taking cellphone videos.

Video of the Adams Mall parking lot just before 2 a.m. shows Warner, 41, trying to intervene in an argument, Pullman police Cmdr. Chris Tenant said.

“He had both hands up in the air positioning his body between the two groups that were in an argument,” Tenant said.

Warner was accompanied by a friend; it’s unclear if either of the men knew the three people involved in the argument, Tenant said.

“One of the three is obviously the major combatant person, but the other two are involved to some extent,” Tenant said.

In a statement on WSU’s website, university President Elson Floyd said there have been rumors that the attack was some sort of hate crime. Warner is Native American.

Tenant said there is nothing to indicate a hate motive at this time, and that it appears the original argument was not about Warner.

Anyone with information is asked to call Pullman police at (509) 334-0802.