Charges in Texas college stabbings; suspect undergoing psych evaluation
The 20-year-old student who authorities said went on a stabbing spree Tuesday at Lone Star College near Houston is undergoing psychological evaluation Wednesday, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office says.
Officials have said Dylan Quick was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — charges filed for the three most severely wounded of 14 victims.
The campus shut down Tuesday, but reopened Wednesday.
Quick told investigators he had fantasies of killing people and had been planning the attack for some time, sheriff’s officials said late Tuesday. He used “a razor-type knife” to stab his victims, they added.
Quick overcame a childhood disability and had big plans for the future, media reports say.
Born deaf, he received a cochlear implant at age 7, CNN affiliate KPRC reported. An article on how he overcame challenges early in life appeared on a Lone Star student blog the first week of April.
The implant gave him the ability to hear, but he had to play catch up to learn how to speak English. His mother homeschooled him and got him involved in Lone Star’s library programs when he was a teen, according to KPRC.
Quick became a voracious reader and developed a close connection with the school, according to KPRC. He was planning to finish his associate’s degree there and transfer to the University of Houston to study accounting, it said.
The young man dreamed of starting a book club. But Quick had also been harboring a darker dream, police said.
“According to the statement the suspect voluntarily gave investigators, he has had fantasies of stabbing people to death since he was in elementary school,” a statement from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said.
A chaotic scene
Fourteen people were injured during Tuesday’s attack, authorities said. On Wednesday, two victims who had been in critical condition were upgraded to good condition, said Kathryn Klein, spokeswoman for Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute. Five victims remain at the hospital and are doing well, Klein told CNN.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene at a building on campus. Bleeding victims collapsed to the ground. Students and teachers ran for cover. Some sprang into action, chasing after the assailant and helping the wounded.
Cassie Foe was in the school’s nursing lab when she heard a scream coming from the hallway.
Moments later, the nursing student put her training into action, placing pressure on a wound in a stabbing victim’s neck.
“It just seemed like he was just going around, basically getting whoever was more open and easiest for him to reach,” Foe told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday.
Steven Maida said he saw so many people swarming that he thought it was a campus tour. Then, he saw them running and heard someone say, “My friend’s been stabbed.”
Maida said he saw blood on a stairway and several injured victims.
“I just took off downstairs running,” he said. He was looking for the attacker.
Maida described joining a group of students who chased the suspect, tackled him and pinned him down until authorities arrived.
“I couldn’t run the other way like everyone else was,” he said.
A bloody spree
Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Gilliland said authorities received an initial report that the suspect had been wrestled to the ground by a student before campus police arrested him.
At least one injured victim had what appeared to be the blade of a box cutter or an X-Acto knife sticking out of her cheek, student Melody Vinton told CNN affiliate KHOU.
Vinton said she had just left her chemistry class when she saw the attacker stabbing people, aiming at their necks and faces.
Soon, she was trying to help victims, ripping a paper towel dispenser off a bathroom wall to get enough paper to help stem the bleeding.
“I turned around, and there was just blood. Just blood dripping down the stairs, all over the floor, all over everyone’s towels on their necks. Just a lot of blood,” she told KHOU.
The school was on lockdown Tuesday afternoon while authorities combed the campus to ensure no other injured people or attackers were there, Harris County sheriff’s spokesman Alan Bernstein said.
While authorities investigated, teachers and students remained in locked rooms, said Marianna Sviland, a teacher who was in a faculty workroom at the time of the stabbings.
“Outside the window, I saw cops running around. I saw students running, and I realized something was going on,” she said. “It was scary.”
Four injured victims “were taken out on helicopters,” Bernstein said.
Tuesday’s incident came more than two months after three people were wounded in a shooting at a different Lone Star College campus, the North Harris campus in Houston.
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