CYPRESS, Texas (AP) — More than a dozen people were wounded when a suspect went building-to-building in an apparent stabbing attack at a Texas college campus Tuesday, authorities said.
The attack about 11:20 a.m. on the Lone Star Community College System's campus in Cypress sent at least 12 people to area hospitals, including four people taken by helicopter, according to Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department spokesman Robert Rasa. He said several people refused treatment at the scene and all the wounds were consistent with stabbing.
The Harris County Sheriff's Department confirmed at least 14 people were wounded and spokesman Thomas Gilliland said authorities had one suspect in custody.
Lone Star officials initially urged people on campus, about 25 miles northwest of downtown Houston, to take shelter and be on alert for a second suspect. But Gilliland said a short time later that authorities believed just one person was responsible. He did not say whether the suspect is a student.
"It was the same suspect going from building to building," Gilliland said.
Gilliland said the attacker is believed to have had some type of knife or a pencil, but authorities could not immediately confirm the weapon used.
Student Teaundrae Perryman said he was in class when he received a text message from a friend and went outside to see a young woman being loaded into an ambulance with what appeared to be stab wounds to either her neck or head. He said he didn't receive an email alert from the college until 11:56 a.m.
"I was concerned but I wasn't afraid because I was with a large group of people," the 21-year-old said, later adding, "The police got to the scene very quickly."
The four people taken by helicopter and two others with moderate injuries were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Of those six, two were in critical condition and four were in fair condition Tuesday afternoon, hospital spokeswoman Alex Rodriguez said.
One student said she learned one of her classmates was stabbed after leaving the school's Health Science Center building.
"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 told KHOU-TV. "It happened in the hallway."
Courtland Sedlachek, 18, was in class when his phone started buzzing along with the phones of everyone else in class. The room was temporarily locked down, but students were let out and off campus a short time later, in what Sedlachek described as an orderly evacuation.
He described his reaction as a "little bit of nervousness."
The attack came three months after a different Lone Star campus was the site of a shooting in which two people were hurt. The suspected gunman in that incident is charged with aggravated assault.