February 14, 2024   

Tragedy Unfolds at NECA/IBEW Training Center

Organizations express sorrow and extend support after tragic incident


In a harrowing incident at a Northern Virginia training center for electricians, one individual was fatally stabbed, and another severely injured before the assailant was shot dead by police. The violence erupted Monday afternoon at a facility operated jointly by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 26 and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) in Manassas, Virginia.

According to reports from numerous media including the Washington Post, DC News Now and Prince William Times, the attack started when 26-year-old Philip Austin Brant, a student at the center, assaulted a fellow classmate with a knife sourced from his backpack. The assault took place in a classroom filled with students, who quickly evacuated the area when the attack began.

Subsequent to the initial attack, Brant encountered and stabbed another student, Elijah Islam Safadi, 23, of Manassas, outside the classroom. Police, arriving shortly after the stabbings, confronted Brant at the facility's entrance. Despite commands to disarm, Brant advanced towards the officers, prompting them to use lethal force. Brant was pronounced dead at the scene.


The classroom assault victim, a 23-year-old from Fairfax, Virginia, is in critical condition, fighting for his life. Safadi, the second victim, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.

The incident has left the community and authorities in shock. Police Chief Peter Newsham described the scene as "horrific," highlighting the tragedy of students attending training only to be met with violence. Both involved officers, with over five years of service, have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, which will include a review of body-worn camera footage.



David Long, CEO of NECA, expressed sorrow over the incident, emphasizing the organization's commitment to worker safety and extending support to the victims' families. IBEW Local 26 also addressed the tragedy, announcing a temporary closure of the school and acknowledging the difficulty in answering the community's questions during this tragic time.

The motive behind the attack remains under investigation, with authorities and the regional Critical Incident Response Team working diligently to uncover the details.