A year ago today, as students were starting their last week of classes, UT was suddenly robbed of its sense of security. Three people were injured and one was killed in an on-campus stabbing that tore through what had been a calm Monday afternoon. Before 2 p.m. that day, the main concern for students was cramming for finals and trying to find an empty seat in the PCL, not fearing for their lives.
The stabbing happened near the intersection of 21st Street and Speedway, and the student who died, Harrison Brown, was an undergraduate studies freshman from North Texas.
The UT Police Department received the first reports of an individual assaulting students with a Bowie-style hunting knife at 1:46 p.m. Two minutes later, a suspect, later identified as biology junior Kendrex White, was arrested.
Just hours later, still rattled by the stabbing, the UT community descended into hysteria as UTPD investigated a potential bomb threat at the Moody College of Communication while rumors circled of a second stabbing in West Campus and of mysterious assailants targeting members of Greek life.
With little information available, these rumors were amplified on social media as students struggled to figure out what was and wasn’t true. Some even wondered if it was safe to leave their homes. But the bomb threat was soon cleared, and APD said on social media that the rumors in West Campus were not credible.
The stabbing has also been at the forefront of conversations on increasing campus safety in the year since. For this issue, The Daily Texan is looking back at what happened on May 1, 2017. Our writers spoke to Harrison’s mother Lori, his friends, the first responders on the scene and the University to see what it has done to improve campus safety in the past year.
Two memorials will be held today in honor of Harrison and the three others injured last year. The first is at 1 p.m. at the corner of 21st Street and Speedway, and the second is at 8 p.m. at the Tower.