The suspect, Kendrex White, allegedly kicked a female student out of his way on campus on Monday, then stabbed four male students - one fatally - UT-Austin Chief of Police David Carter said at a press conference today.
Just prior to the stabbing, White wrote "Yahushua" on his Twitter account, the Hebrew name for Jesus, a term used by some Christian messianists seeking to return Christianity to its roots in Judaism. Classes were cancelled for the rest of day Monday "while the investigation is in progress" according to a UT text alert sent at 3:19 p.m. local time. The injured victims have not been identified and are receiving treatment at Brackenridge Hospital. White then walked toward the area of a food truck and stabbed a third and fourth victim.
"If there is an ongoing threat, we would have a process where we put the campus on lockdown", Carter said.
"I didn't really process what was happening until he grabbed this guy who was standing right next to me by the shoulder and stabbed him on the back", she told CNN affiliate KEYE.
"There are no words to describe my sense of loss", Fenves said.
White graduated from Killeen High School before going to the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a junior majoring in biology, according to his directory listing.
At present writing, it is unknown whether Kendrex J. White was a part of any Antifa organizations or what his true motive was. He was ultimately shot dead by police.
"I have been briefed by the Department of Public Safety on both incidents, and have also talked to the University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves", Abbott said.
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"At this time of this bad tragedy, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, and the families of this incredibly senseless attack, which attacks the entire UT campus and UT family".
All the victims were men, either 20 or 21 in age police said, adding there was no evidence the assailant was targeting Greek students. She said he was passionate about his work and was "very interactive and easygoing".
Police responded and were able to arrest White within 2 minutes.
Prichett said the attacker had escaped attention by blending in. "There was not an ongoing threat".
University President Greg Fenves issued a statement that said in part: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families". It's also short walk from the administration building and the landmark clock tower that was the scene of a mass shooting in 1966, and not far from where freshman Haruka Weiser was killed while walking home from class in April 2016.
The attack comes just three days after a former student carrying a machete and other knives attacked students at Transylvania University in Kentucky.
White is now being interrogated by police and has not yet been charged.