The student in Monday afternoon’s 26th Street stabbing incident fabricated the report, according to the Austin Police Department.
A 20-year-old male student was playing with a knife when he accidentally cut himself, APD Chief Brian Manley said in a press conference Wednesday. When the student realized the medical costs he would incur for the accidental, self-inflicted wound, he falsified the report in connection with the on-campus stabbing, which had occurred several hours before.
The student originally told police he got into a confrontation with an unknown man at around 3 p.m., after he observed him threaten a woman with a knife. The student said he sustained a stab wound to the leg during the confrontation, but didn’t report the incident to APD until 4:30 p.m, after he had transported himself to St. David’s Hospital for treatment.
“This incident did not happen in the way it was originally reported,” Manley said. “The individual was giving a statement today ... and the conversation went in a direction to where he finally admitted that he made this whole thing up.”
Possible charges include false reporting to a peace officer, a Class B misdemeanor, but charges have not been filed, Manley said. APD has yet to publicly identify the student.
After Monday’s on-campus stabbing, which left three students injured and another dead on the scene, rumors ran rampant on social media, with many claiming that additional assailants were targeting students with Greek life affiliations in West Campus.
APD announced at 5 p.m. Monday that the 26th Street incident, which was among the social media rumors, was unfounded and told the community only to accept information from official sources. APD didn’t notify the community of the student’s report until almost 10 p.m. that night, several hours after both the student’s report and the 5 p.m. announcement.
Manley apologized for the conflicting information in a joint press conference Tuesday morning.
“Where we failed was not putting out the information until 9:38 (Monday) night that we did in fact have another incident in West Campus,” Manley said. “We should have put our information out earlier.”
Manley said the UT and West Campus communities should no longer be concerned about an assailant in the area. Police had previously asked for the public’s help in identifying a suspect after the student’s report
The investigation regarding the student’s falsified report is ongoing.
This story has been updated.