14 stabbed in attack at Texas college; suspect in custody

14 stabbed in attack at Texas college; suspect in custody


by Michelle Homer / KHOU.com


Posted on April 9, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 10 at 7:19 AM

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas—  Twelve people were rushed to area hospitals after an attack on the campus of Lone Star College Cy-Fair in northwest Harris County. Two other people were treated for minor wounds at the scene in the 9900 block of Barker Cypress.

Witnesses said a suspect ran down a hallway randomly stabbing other students in the Health and Science Center.

(Click here for photos from the scene)

"Male on the loose, stabbing people," was the call the sheriff's department received at 11:12 a.m. Tuesday.

Other students in the science building rushed to help the victims until emergency crews arrived. One victim was "bleeding profusely," according to the witness.

"I had just left class out of the HSC [Health Science Center] building, and as we were leaving we saw the cops coming. I called to check on another classmate who was still inside the building and she said the classroom was on lockdown and she said one of the classmates had been stabbed," said Margo Shimfarr-Evans. "It happened in the hallway."

Other victims were reportedly stabbed in the technology building.

A male suspect was tackled on the campus and taken into custody. He is a student at Lone Star, according to Sheriff Adrian Garcia.

Lone Star student Michael Chalfan says he helped capture the suspect.

"Had a sinister look on his face, kind of like a smile and a satisfactory grin after doing it," Chalfan said.

The sheriff couldn't specify what type of weapon was used in the stabbings. They haven't released the suspect's name.

Garcia said they do not believe there are any other suspects, but a search of the campus continued at 2:30 p.m.

Six victims were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital — four by Life Flight helicopters and two by ambulance. Two of them were in critical condition and three were in good condition, at last check. One patient was discharged after treatment.

North Cypress Medical Center confirms that they received six patients, but all were treated and released.

Several parents rushed to the campus after hearing about the stabbings.

"Basically, I’m frantic. I’m scared out of my mind," said one mother whose daughter is locked in a classroom. "Even though she’s 21, she’s still my baby. As soon as she gets out, I’m going to give her a hug and kiss."

Another mother named Janice was relieved to hear from her son.

"They won’t allow them out of the classroom and they’ve assured them that no one can get into the classroom without a key," she said. "They are just sitting and waiting while the police collect the evidence and try to calm everyone else in the classroom."

"He was praying and he knew that the Lord was protecting him," said the student’s father.

Lone Star officials said the campus was immediately placed on lockdown and students were alerted by text message within minutes after the stabbings began.

"Seek shelter now. If away, stay away," the text said.

Loud speaker announcements were also used to warn everyone inside campus buildings.

Five children were inside a day care in the science building when the stabbings happened.

"As the incident occurred, the doors were locked and the lights were turned off. Children were kept calm and were under the protection of the caretakers," according to a statement from YMCA Director of Communications Taryn Baranowski . "All the kids are safe and have since been picked up by parents."

Lone Star students and employees were later allowed to leave the campus, which will remain closed for the rest of the day. Vehicles were searched at all of the exits.

The following Cy-Fair ISD schools were placed on lockdown as a precaution: Birkes; Holmsley; Rennell; Fiest; Postma; Jowell; Copeland; Aragon; and The Berry Center.

Two people were shot on another Lone Star College campus in January. Both victims survived and one suspect was charged in that incident.