A community college student who said he had fantasised since childhood about stabbing people to death went on a slashing spree at his Houston, Texas campus.
The suspect, identified as Lone Star College student Dylan Quick, aged 20, wounded at least 14 people, two of them critically, before bystanders subdued him, police said.
He was charged with three counts of aggravated assault stemming from the rampage, carried out with a weapon described by the Harris County Sheriff’s Department as a “razor- type knife”.
Eyewitness accounts said the weapon appeared to be a box-cutter or “exacto” knife.
The campus, part of a Houston-area community college network, was placed on a security lockdown and closed.
The northwest Houston campus where the attack occurred has about 20,000 students.
According to a sheriff’s department statement, Quick told investigators he had harboured fantasies of stabbing people to death since he was in elementary school, and that he had planned the attack for some time.
Fragments of the blade used in the assault were found in at least one of the victims, and additional broken blade pieces were recovered from “the area where the cutting occurred”, the sheriff’s office said. The weapon’s handle was found in Quick’s backpack when he was taken into custody.
Of the 14 people known to have been injured, two were listed as critical and four as stable. Eight others had minor injuries, Harris County sheriff Adrian Garcia said.
He said students and faculty in the vicinity quickly responded to subdue the suspect.
Michael Chalfan, a student at the college, said he saw police shooting the suspect with a stun gun. He said he was in a drama class with Quick about a year ago and described him as an eccentric student who carried a stuffed pet monkey and regularly wore workout gloves.
“He dresses weird,” Chalfan told reporters.
In January, at another campus of Lone Star College, three people were shot. The Lone Star College System has six colleges and several centres in the Houston area, with about 90,000 students.
The incident was the latest in a series of attacks at schools across the country during the past year. The most deadly, a shooting rampage in Newtown, Connecticut, last December, left 26 people dead, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In Taft, California, in January, a student armed with a shotgun opened fire at a high school, critically wounding a fellow student before two staff members talked the boy into giving up his weapon.
The attacks have prompted calls for tighter security at schools.
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