Tragedy hits the University of Texas at Austin Campus

Tragedy hits the University of Texas at Austin Campus

By: Bri Zeiberg ’19

Yet another act of violence happened at the University of Texas at Austin on May 1, 2017. An armed suspect by the name of Kendrex White stabbed four male students around 1:47 P.M, fatally injuring one and leaving three in critical condition.

“Everyone in the Longhorn community really feels affected by this and we all could tell Harrison had a great heart,” Staples alum and current UTexas student, Julia Greenspan ’16, said.

The suspect is a 20-year-old student at the University and is believed to “have suffered from mental health issues,” according to an ABC News report. Local Texas news outlets explain that White was “a junior at UT where he’s majoring in Biology.” The source also reveals that “he was arrested and charged with DWI [Driving While Intoxicated] on April 4, 2017.”

At a press conference held later the afternoon of the incident, UT-Austin Chief of Police David Carter explained that, “This was not a person that had a vendetta against any particular group,” according to another ABC News report.

Greenspan also added that “a huge rumor was that the Greek community was at risk, because Harrison was in a fraternity, and we all were told to remove our letters as soon as possible in case we were targeted”.

“My friend and I had turned our shirts inside out in the bathroom before leaving Spanish class so that no one could see our letters” Rachel Morrison ’16, another Staples alum and current U-Texas student, said. Carter later clarified that there was nothing to suggest that White was targeting fraternities or other groups.

Bryce Reiner ’17, an incoming freshman at the U-Texas, said “I’m not really worried about the security. They have such a great police system there that protects the campus.” Security has been increased on campus in order to prevent future incidents from occurring. Greenspan questions that “it’s one of those things where no matter the amount of security the event could still happen again. It feels safer knowing there are people there to regulate harm, however”.

Two days after the events transpired, a vigil was held in Brown’s memory. Thousands of students and locals attended to honor his legacy and come together as a community. After attending the vigil, Greenspan concluded: “This week has been really emotional for everyone, between the event and the vigil, but it’s been a way for us all to grow. It really makes you think about how precious life is and how close to home tragedy can hit. I’ve never felt so proud to be a Longhorn and have this community to lean on.”