AUSTIN, Texas (CN) – Austin police say a 21-year-old student at the University of Texas attacked four students with a “Bowie-style” hunting knife Monday afternoon, killing one and sending three to the hospital, but they are unsure of a motive.
Police arrested Kendrex J. White, who they said “calmly walked around the plaza” and stabbed four people in a busy area in front of the Gregory Gym.
University of Texas Police Chief David Carter said an officer got a call of an attack at 1:49 p.m. and in less than two minutes found White walking away from one of his victims, “armed with a large Bowie-style hunting knife.”
“The officer confronted him, drew his weapon and ordered the suspect to get on the ground, which he did,” Carter said at a Monday afternoon news conference.
White has been identified as a junior biology major.
The three male stabbing victims, all 20 or 21 years old, were receiving treatment at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, police said.
Killed in the attack was Harrison Brown, a 2016 graduate of Graham Independent School District, about 120 miles west of Dallas.
“There are no words adequate enough to express the sorrow felt by Graham ISD and the community of Graham for this loss,” the school district said in a Facebook post. “Harrison was an inspiration to everyone around him. We were blessed and honored to have known him.”
The university canceled Monday classes and events after the attack, but University President Greg Fenves said he did not believe the campus faced a continuing threat.
“There are no words to describe my sense of loss,” Fenves said. “Campus safety is our highest priority and we will investigate this tragic incident to the greatest extent possible.”
The fatal stabbing Monday was the second murder on campus since 1966, when Charles Whitman gunned down 14 people and wounded dozens more before he too was shot to death atop the UT tower.
In April 2016, a 17-year-old homeless boy was charged with killing freshman dance student Haruka Weiser, who went missing after leaving drama class. Her body was found in a creek on the sprawling campus.
Travis County District Attorney said in March this year that she would not offer a plea deal to Meechaiel Criner, now 18, who is charged with killing Weiser. He faces life in prison if convicted. The trial, originally set for March, has been reset for August.