Police: UT Austin stabbing suspect may have suffered from mental health issues

iStock/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- A student at the University of Texas at Austin accused of stabbing four students is believed to have suffered from mental health issues, officials said Tuesday.

The suspect, Kendrex White, allegedly kicked a female student out of the way on campus on Monday before stabbing four male students, including one fatally, UT Austin Chief of Police David Carter said at a press conference.

After White allegedly stabbed the first student, he continued to walk "in a calm fashion" and found another student sitting at a picnic table whom he stabbed in the back of the head, Carter said.

White then kept walking and stabbed a third victim, followed by a fourth, he said.

Carter said it's believed White was suffering from mental health issues. White was recently involuntarily committed in another city, he said.

Carter said there was nothing to suggest that White was targeting fraternities or other groups.

"This was not a conspiracy," he said. "This was not a person that had a vendetta against any particular group."

White was taken into custody after the stabbings and booked on a murder charge. The charge is expected to be officially filed by Tuesday evening, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said.

Undergraduate student Harrison Brown died from his injuries. Two of the three other injured students have since been released from the hospital.

School President Gregory Fenves said in a statement Monday night: "I ask that our entire community come together to support the victims and their families. They are suffering, and we all must be there for them. Preparations are underway for a gathering to honor the victims that will be held in the coming days."

Fenves said Tuesday that the UT tower will be darkened during the upcoming memorial.

He said there is justified fear on campus, noting that the fatal attack came one year after another student's murder.

Haruka Weiser, an 18-year-old, first-year theater and dance major at UT Austin, was murdered in April 2016, and her body was discovered in a campus creek. A 17-year-old, who was not a student, was arrested.

"I'm hurt and I'm angry that our campus has seen these two tragedies," Fenves said.

Fenves said the campus has focused on improving security this year, but said there is work to be done.

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