UTPD identifies suspect in on-campus stabbing

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Photo Credit: Chase Karacostas | Daily Texan Staff

Update (10:12 a.m.): 

Contrary to many social media rumors yesterday afternoon, investigating authorities have found no evidence that the suspect in Monday afternoon's on-campus stabbing was targeting individuals with Greek life affiliations, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Law enforcement officials said the suspect, biology junior Kendrex White, may have been suffering from mental health issues. They have yet to uncover any motive for the attack, which left one student dead and three others injured.

White has a previous arrest record. Less than one month ago, he was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. White told officers he had been prescribed “happy pills," according to the Statesman.

White has not been formally charged in the stabbing incident but is expected to be later today.

Orignal Story: Screams echoed across  Speedway Plaza on Monday afternoon as students fled from an individual assaulting students with a large, Bowie-style hunting knife outside of Gregory Gymnasium.

The UT Police Department received reports of the incident at 1:49 p.m. Two minutes later, UTPD arrived on the scene and had taken the suspect, biology junior Kendrex White, into custody. Of the four student victims — three white males and one Asian male — one was pronounced dead on the scene. School district officials in Graham, Texas, identified UT student Harrison Brown as the fatality victim. A memorial mass will be held in honor of Brown at 8 p.m. at the University Catholic Center. 

White was taken into custody almost immediately, UTPD Chief David Carter said. The injured victims have not been identified and are receiving treatment at Brackenridge Hospital. 

“I ask that our entire community come together to support the victims and their families,” UT President Gregory Fenves said in a statement to the UT community Monday night. “They are suffering, and we all must be there for them.”

Krishant Dania, psychology and government freshman, said he was sitting outside of Gregory Gym when he saw one of the victims and ran over to help.

“I clapped my hands over his wound,” Dania said. “I told people, ‘Run, he has a knife!’ And everyone looked at me like I was stupid, and then I was like, ‘Get out of here,’ and then everyone ran. Then it was just me, the guy who I was helping and the guy with the knife. (White) kind of looked at me, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m gonna die.’ Then (White) just kept walking toward Speedway.”

Business honors freshman Sarah Teng said she was starting homework at the picnic tables outside of Gregory Gym when she saw the suspect stab one of the victims at the table in front of her.

“I just didn’t really know how to feel,” Teng said. “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. I didn’t hear him say one word the whole time. It was just really hard to know what was going on, and that’s why people didn’t realize the situation until way later because it seemed like nothing was happening.”

University spokesperson J.B. Bird said the University is primarily following law enforcement in this situation.

“There have been rumors that have not been credible,” Bird said. “In a rapidly changing situation, you need to follow law enforcement.”

Brandon Frausto, a friend of White from Killeen High School, said the incident was unexpected.

“I think it was a total shock, just what happened,” Frausto said. “There’s nothing I can think of that would even slightly indicate that he was a violent person.”

The Austin Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety will be sending their officers to help patrol campus and areas west of campus.

UTPD said social media rumors that circulated after the incident, many of which claimed fraternities in West Campus were being targeted, were not credible. An APD public information officer additionally confirmed that rumors of other stabbing incidents near 24th and 26th streets were also unfounded. However, APD is currently searching for a suspect in a stabbing that occurred on the 2600 block of Nueces Street on Monday afternoon. This incident is not related to the on-campus stabbing, according to an APD public information officer.