A US college student stabbed 14 people, leaving two victims critically wounded, in a rampage that ended when he was wrestled to the ground and taken into custody, police said.
Harris County Sheriff officers seal off the Cyfair campus of Lone Star College after a student stabbed at least 14 people on April 9, 2013 in Cypress, Texas. The community college located in northwest Houston was on lockdown until police detained a 21-year-old male student believed to be a suspect.
Television images showed a red-headed white youth with a goatee being led off in handcuffs after the incident at the sprawling Lone Star College’s Cyfair campus, about 60 miles north of Houston.
Authorities were alerted to a “male on the loose, stabbing people,” shortly after 11:00am (1600 GMT), Sheriff Adrian Garcia, of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, told reporters.
“A suspect has been taken into custody, a white male, that we believe is approximately 21 years of age, and currently enrolled,” he said.
“We do not know exactly what type of weapon was used other than to say that it is at this point an unknown instrument,” he added.
Authorities said 14 people were stabbed in the attack, which appeared to have occurred in and around the college’s Health Science Center.
Four of the wounded were airlifted by helicopter to area hospitals, and two were reported in critical condition.
Police initially said the assailant went “building to building” stabbing people on the sprawling campus.
Sheriff’s deputy Thomas Gilliland said initial reports indicated that the attacker was wrestled to the ground by a student, and campus police arrived and placed him under arrest.
The Houston Chronicle said the suspect was tackled by Ryan Ballard, a Lone Star sophomore, and another student.
A journalist looks at an alert posted on the website of the Lone Star College on April 9, 2013 in Washington, DC. The college was placed on lockdown after the alert was raised about an attack, with students being taken off campus while buildings were searched.
Ballard told the newspaper he noticed blood on the stairway as he walked to class in the Health Science Center building.
“I thought it was just a regular nosebleed until I started to get up the stairs and I saw more and more blood,” Ballard, 19, was quoted as saying. “I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, what’s going on?'”
Ballard said he saw three girls screaming and crying, one of them holding her bloodied neck, and then heard someone say, “Stop him!” before he “saw this guy running from the building.”
Ballard, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs about 235 pounds, said he pushed the suspect to the ground after another student grabbed him.
“It’s still kind of shaky,” he said. “If we wouldn’t have stopped him, who knows what he would have done?”
The college was placed on lockdown after the alert was raised, with students being taken off campus while buildings were searched.
An alert on the school’s website said the incident occurred “near and around the Health Science Center and remains an active crime scene with changing and evolving information.” The college was due to reopen on Wednesday.
Police discounted early reports of a second assailant.
Robert Rasa of the CyFair Volunteer Fire Department, had described the scene as “pretty chaotic.” Television images showed crowds of onlookers caught in the lockdown and police searching trunks of cars as they left campus.