'He was so calm I almost didn't realize an attack was happening'

Student recounts witnessing stabbing at University of Texas

AUSTIN - Chaos erupted on the University of Texas campus after a man began stabbing people near the Gregory Gymnasium Monday afternoon.

Witnesses to the violent incident said it was difficult to figure out if they were really in danger at the time of the attack.

"I heard people scream and I thought it was some joke," said freshman UT student Rachel Prichett, 19, who was standing in line at the Chi'lantro's food truck near the spot where a victim had been stabbed.

"I turned around and I saw this guy holding a knife, and I didn't realize what was going on cause he was walking with no facial expression. [He] didn't look in a hurry, and he just grabbed this guy by the shoulder and shoved it into his back. I didn't realize what was happening and I was just so shocked. And then I saw a guy slumped over the table, so then I just started running as fast as I could," she added.

The suspect's "eerily calm" demeanor might have stopped her from reacting sooner.

"From what I could tell, he just looked like a normal student," she said.

Prichett said the time of day for a violent attack to happen on campus helped contribute to the situation being so unbelievable for eye witnesses.

"Last year, someone got murdered here, but it was late at night and she was walking alone," Prichett said. "But, I definitely don't think of things like this happening during the middle of the day in the center of campus."

Prichett said her mom and dad worried about sending her to UT after the murder of Haruka Weiser made national news last April. She was able to calm their fears, until now.

"I always tell my parents when they're worried 'Oh it's okay, my dorm is right in the middle of campus, nothing's gonna happen here", she added." Apparently not."

Fellow Freshman Jude John was leaving the cafeteria when he saw the suspect, identified by police as Kendrex White, 21, in handcuffs. 

"It seems surreal it doesn't seem like it actually happened," John said. "It's a sense of shock. You don't know what to think," he said.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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