By Emily Shapiro, ABC News
A student at the University of Texas at Austin accused of stabbing four students is believed to have suffered from mental health issues, officials said today.
The suspect, Kendrex White, allegedly kicked a female student out of his way on campus on Monday, then stabbed four male students — one fatally — UT-Austin Chief of Police David Carter said at a press conference today.
After White allegedly stabbed the first student, he walked “in a calm fashion,” found another student sitting at a picnic table and stabbed him in the back of the head, Carter said.
(The suspect, identified as 21-year-old Kendrex J. White, was armed with a “Bowie-style” hunting knife, police say. Courtesy of kxan and YouTube)
White kept walking and stabbed two more people, Carter said.
Carter said that it’s believed White was suffering from mental health issues and that he was recently involuntarily committed in another city.
There was nothing to suggest that White was targeting fraternities or other groups, Carter said.
“This was not a conspiracy,” he said, becoming emotional. “This was not a person that had a vendetta against any particular group.”
(White was a Biology major at University of Texas. Courtesy of kxan and YouTube)
White, who was taken into custody after the stabbings, was booked on a charge of murder, and the charge is expected to be filed by this evening, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said.
Undergraduate student Harrison Brown died from his injuries. Two of the three other injured students have since been released from the hospital.
UT-Austin President Gregory Fenves said in a statement Monday night, “I ask that our entire community come together to support the victims and their families.”
“They are suffering, and we all must be there for them. Preparations are underway for a gathering to honor the victims that will be held in the coming days.”
He said today that the school’s tower will be darkened during the upcoming memorial.
(For UT President Greg Fenves, the reality of two students murdered on campus is “simply unbelievable.” Courtesy of kxan and YouTube)
Fenves added that there is justified fear on campus and noted that the attack came one year after another student’s murder.
Haruka Weiser, an 18-year-old first-year theater and dance major at UT-Austin, was murdered in April 2016, and her body was discovered in a campus creek. A 17-year-old who was not a student at the school was arrested.
“I’m hurt and I’m angry that our campus has seen these two tragedies,” Fenves said today.
He said that this year the campus has focused on improving security but that “clearly, there is work to be done.”