Austin's top stories of 2017: UT stabbing


Highlights

We are counting down the American-Statesman’s 10 biggest stories of 2017.

Our countdown of storylines chosen by Statesman reporters and editors continues through Dec. 31. Today we’re at No. 7: The fatal stabbing rampage at the University of Texas

Our countdown of storylines chosen by Statesman reporters and editors continues through Dec. 31.

Today we’re at No. 7: The fatal stabbing rampage at the University of Texas

In the middle of a school day in the middle of the University of Texas campus, a man with a machete-like knife calmly walked through a crowd of students and began stabbing.

“He was just walking around with a knife, so no one even noticed when he hit that first guy, I guess, because no one was screaming,” one witness said. “Then everyone just screamed and ran away as fast as they could.”

UT police officer Eric Park chased 21-year-old Kendrex White to nearby Jester Center dormitory and disarmed him. Left dead was UT freshman Harrison Brown, a 19-year-old from the small North Texas town of Graham. Three students were injured in the attack.

White was charged with murder  and three charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is awaiting trial.  His parents told the Statesman that their son’s health and demeanor changed after an April 4 car wreck near campus that resulted in a drunken-driving charge. In the weeks between the crash and the campus attack, White suffered a seizure, went to the emergency room in his hometown of Killeen and was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility.

Brown’s mother, Lori, came to Austin in August for one of White’s court hearings, flanked by family and friends. She wore a burnt orange T-shirt with her son’s photo and the words, “Horns up for Harry.” Others in the group wore gray shirts with her son’s motto, “Love Hard.”

Highlights of our coverage

May 1: 1 slain, 3 injured in knife attack at UT
May 2: Harrison Brown remembered

May 2: Faster, better communication needed in emergencies, UT and Austin officials agree

May 3: Man accused in UT stabbings says he doesn’t remember attack

May 3: Viral story debunked: No evidence that gun-wielding student stopped attacker

May 10: UT stabbing suspect wasn’t the same after crash, parents say 

May 11: First officer on scene of UT stabbing tells his story

Aug. 16: Mom of UT stabbing victim goes to court to see accused attacker

Previously in our countdown

No. 10 : Secretive search for Austin's next city manager

No. 9: After 3 years, Greg Kelley released from prison

No. 8: With Legislature’s help, Uber and Lyft return to Austin