AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The University of Texas president says two of the students wounded in a stabbing attack on campus have been treated and released from hospitals while a third remains hospitalized.
Greg Fenves says the student who was fatally stabbed was a freshman named Harrison Brown. He says Brown was a talented musician who had not yet decided on a major.
The 21-year-old suspect, Kendrex J. White, was armed with a large hunting knife.
White was suffering from mental health troubles, authorities say.
Witnesses described a sudden and seemingly random assault on strangers in the middle of the campus of one of the nation’s largest universities.
Student Rachel Prichett said she was standing in line at a food truck outside a gym when she saw a man with a knife resembling a machete approach the person standing behind her.
“The guy was standing next to me,” Prichett said. “He grabbed him by the shoulder and shoved the knife in it. I just started running as fast as I could.”
Another student described the mood on-campus.
“A text alert told us there was a threat on-campus,” said UT Austin Joseph Strassman about the incident. “A lot of people are on their phones. You can feel that most people are really nervous.”
University police Chief David Carter described the weapon as a “Bowie-style” hunting knife. He said the stabbings occurred within a one-block area as the attacker “calmly walked around the plaza.”
Another student, Ray Arredondo, said he was walking to his car when a mass of students near the gym started running.
“They were just screaming, ‘Run! Get out of here!'” Arredondo said.
Brown reportedly died at the scene near the gym, while the others were taken to the hospital.
The attacker did not resist when officers confronted him at gunpoint, Carter said.
Lindsey Clark said she saw the suspect get tackled by police as he was running toward the entrance of Jester Hall, a complex of dormitories and classrooms. She described him as wearing a bandanna and gray sweatshirt and said he appeared quiet and subdued as police held him on the ground.
“You could see and hear people running and screaming: ‘There he is!'” before he was tackled by officers, Clark said.
White was an active member of the Black Health Professionals Organization student organization on campus, said Melody Adindu, the group’s new president. She said White was passionate about his work and was “very interactive and easygoing.”
Some of White’s former classmates at Killeen High School, near the gates of the Fort Hood Army post in Central Texas, had similar recollections of him.
“He was a really smart guy in high school, he was always nice, had plenty of friends, and was in the International Baccalaureate program. I’m definitely surprised he would do this,” Kay’Lynn Wilkerson told the Killeen Daily Herald.
Ex-classmate Angela Bonilla called White “the sweetest guy, laughing and having a good time with people”.
The attack occurred in the central campus, just a short walk from the administration building and the landmark clock tower that was the scene of a mass shooting in 1966.
The stabbings came only a few days after a 19-year-old man armed with a machete wounded two people at a university coffee shop in Lexington, Kentucky.
In the April 28 attack, the assailant at Transylvania University asked about the political affiliations of people at the shop. He was arrested and charged with assault. The victims’ wounds were not life-threatening, authorities said.
Multiple people were stabbed and one person has died this afternoon on The University of Texas at Austin campus.
All classes and campus events were cancelled for the remainder of the day.