A scene of chaos and terror unfolded on University of Texas's Austin campus Monday after a student pulled out a knife and stabbed four people, killing one, the Daily Texan reports.
According to the campus police department, 21-year-old biology junior Kendrex White allegedly started stabbing people outside of UT's Gregory Gymnasium at around 2 PM. Using a Bowie knife, he reportedly remained relatively calm as he moved from student to student, attacking four men before cops arrived. According to the New York Times, one victim, who police identified as Harrison Brown, died at the scene before the others were rushed to nearby medical facilities.
Rachel Prichett, a freshman at UT, witnessed the attack as she was standing at a nearby food truck. She told the Austin American-Statesman that, at first, she thought White was just playing around with a prop.
"At first I didn't even think about it as an attack," Prichett said. "I thought about it as a fake knife or whatever, and then he just grabbed this guy by the shoulder and stabbed him in the back with it."
Sarah Teng, a business honors student, told the Daily Texan that White remained eerily calm as he stabbed someone in front of her while she was sitting at a picnic table doing her homework. "It happened so quickly, and the thing is, [White] was so calm about it, and he was so unchanged by all of his surroundings—he didn't say anything, he didn't yell anything," she said. "I didn't hear him say one word the whole time."
According to the Times, White was apprehended by campus police two minutes after they received a call about the stabbing. He was reportedly taken into custody without incident, and university officials canceled all classes and campus activities for the rest of the day. Cops are still trying to pin down what could have driven White to violence.
"His motivation, obviously what is going through his mind, I can't answer that at this time," UT Police Chief David Carter said at a news conference Monday. "It would be premature to indicate or suggest one thing or another."
Following the incident, some students on social media seemed to think that the attack was tied to a recent spate of vandalism aimed at the school's fraternity houses. Carter said Monday that while he wasn't sure if all the victims were fraternity members, those rumors were not credible. Others, like junior Korbin Springer, said the attack might have had to do with a recent drunk driving offense White had been pulled over for in April. Springer, who knew White from class, said he had stopped coming to school after the arrest.
"When I saw him then, he was very depressed and not the same," Springer told the Statesmen. "He was a happy guy. He was upset, I think against the police, because he felt they wrongly accused him."
According to a Facebook post, Brown's former high school has scheduled a memorial service Tuesday night to celebrate his life. The three additional victims, who haven't been identified, are reportedly recovering at Austin's Brackenridge Hospital.
"I ask that our entire community come together to support the victims and their families," UT's president, Gregory Fenves, said in a statement Monday. "They are suffering, and we all must be there for them."