Fatal Stabbing at UT-Austin
One dead, three injured, and a suspect in custody
By Sarah Marloff,
4:50PM, Mon. May 1, 2017
21-year-old University of Texas junior Kendrex J. White was arrested earlier this afternoon as the primary suspect in today’s on-campus stabbing, which killed one student and injured three others.
UT-Austin Police Chief David Carter confirmed the arrest and injuries during a joint press conference at 4pm with school President Gregory Fenves and Brian Manley, interim chief at the Austin Police Department. Carter confirmed that UTPD received a call at approximately 1:50pm from a student who said they saw a man walking around the plaza near UT’s Gregory Gymnasium with a knife. UTPD officers were on scene in “less than two minutes,” Carter said. Though the responding officer drew his weapon, White obeyed instructions, was peacefully placed into handcuffs, and removed from campus.
Four students – all men between ages 20 and 21 – were stabbed within a one-block radius of the gymnasium during what Carter called a busy time of day. Three students have been transported to University Medical Center Brackenridge and are receiving treatment for their wounds. At 2:14pm, Austin-Travis County EMS confirmed that the fourth victim died on scene. None of the victims’ names have been released as of yet.
In the two hours following the initial UTPD call, unsubstantiated reports of other incidents began popping up on social media, including claims of an active shooter, a possible bomb threat, and another knife attack, this time in West Campus. Carter stated that he could “not confirm other possible violent acts,” but that both UTPD and APD have declared there are currently no ongoing threats on UT’s campus. Due to the investigation, however, the school has canceled all classes and campus events for the remainder of the day. Carter also could not confirm rumors that the attack was targeting students involved in Greek life, a reference to the graffiti vandalism that appeared on four fraternity houses last week.
White is currently in APD’s custody, but has not been formally charged with any crimes – something Carter said will take some time. “We have upwards of 25 witnesses, most of them students,” he said. “The investigation will take a little while.”
Fenves and Carter both reiterated that campus safety remains a top priority, and APD has offered to help with additional patrol as needed. Fenves urged all students, faculty, and staff to call those at home who may be worried about them. An event like this, Fenves said, “attacks the entire UT campus. It breaks my heart to announce this. … Students come here to learn – to look to the future.”
Family members concerned about the safety of their student loved ones can call a check-in hotline: 866/657-9400. The UT Counseling and Mental Health Center has also extended its hours of operation today, and will continue to run its service hotline until further notice: 512/471-2255.