The 21-year-old accused of attacking four students with a Bowie-like hunting knife on the University of Texas at Austin campus Monday was suffering from mental illness at the time, police said in a news conference Tuesday.
UT Austin Police Chief David Carter said Kendrex White was not part of a conspiracy or acting on a vendetta when he walked through South Campus stabbing four people, one fatally, and kicking a female student.
“We have reason to believe the individual was suffering from mental health issues,” Carter said.
White was recently committed to a mental health facility in a different city and was released, he said. “But he was obviously suffering from particular issues,” he said.
A student with a large hunting knife stabbed at least four people Monday on the University of Texas campus, killing one and seriously wounding the others before surrendering to police, authorities said. There was no immediate word about a motive. Student Rachel Prichett said she was standing in line at a food truck outside a gym when she saw a man with a knife resembling a machete approach the person standing behind her. “The guy was standing next to me,” Prichett said.
Media: WochIt Media
White was booked into jail on a charge of murder, which will be filed later today. Officials are also reviewing additional charges, said interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley.
Rumors circulated on social media that White targeted victims for wearing paraphernalia that associated them with Greek Life at the University, but officials once again stated that the connection was false.
READ MORE: With no UT-Austin warning, students panic on social media amid attack reports; Twitter alerts others
Carter said none of the victims were wearing anything connecting them to a fraternity at the time of the attack.
One victim remains hospitalized, said UT President Greg Fenves.
Witnesses told police White exited the Student Activity Center and headed to the Gregory Gymnasium, across the street. A female student came into contact with White, who said the suspect kicked her out of the way in a stairwell and then stabbed a white male. White then walked southbound on the west side of the gym, where he found an Asian student sitting at a picnic table and stabbed him in the back of the head, Carter said.
Then White walked south toward a food truck and stabbed the third and fourth victims. He then walked into Jester West Dorm, where he was apprehended by police.
Carter said White may have attacked more people had police not arrived when they did.
DPS Commander Joe Ortiz said security at the university would be ramped up to include troops in patrol vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and horses for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until the department is told otherwise. Carter said the additional patrols would be there as long as they were necessary.
An additional stabbing reported in West Campus Monday was not connected to the attacks involving White, Manley said.
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