A University of Texas at Austin student stabbed four people with a hunting knife on the campus Monday, killing one, according to university police.
The suspect, Kendrex J. White, 21, quickly surrendered when an armed campus police officer confronted him, authorities said. The victims ― all young men ― appeared to be students. One died at the scene and three others were seriously hurt.
The motive wasn’t immediately clear.
Student Rachel Prichet saw a man with a large knife approach someone standing near her, she told The Associated Press.
“The guy was standing next to me,” Prichet said. “He grabbed him by the shoulder and shoved the knife in it. I just started running as fast as I could.”
One witness told KXAN that she’d seen White kicking a female student before he pulled a knife.
White attacked in the area around the Gregory Gym plaza on campus.
Campus police Chief David Carter said in a news conference that White was captured with a large hunting knife. The victims were male and either 20 or 21.
“It was described to us that the individual calmly walked around the plaza and basically attacked these four unfortunate students,” said Carter.
The university canceled classes and events for the remainder of the day.
The campus was no longer under threat by late afternoon, according to university President Greg Fenves.
“This breaks my heart to have to announce this,” Fenves said at a press conference. “This breaks my heart that any of our students are touched by tragedy. They come here to learn. to look to the future, and our faculty and staff are here to nurture our students.”
“There are no words to describe my sense of loss,” Fenves said in a statement. “Campus safety is our highest priority and we will investigate this tragic incident to the greatest extent possible.”
The university’s Belo Center for New Media was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat Monday, according to the Austin American-Statesman. It was unclear whether the threat was releated to the attack.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) offered condolences to victims.
“Our prayers go out to those affected by today’s tragic events,” Abbott said in a statement.
The university was the site of one of the worst mass shootings in American history when Charles Whitman, a student trained as a Marine sniper, fatally shot 15 people and wounded 20 others from a campus clocktower in 1966.