CYPRESS, Texas — A student who told police he’d fantasized for years about stabbing people to death was charged Tuesday with carrying out a building-to-building attack at a Texas community college that wounded at least 14 people, many of whom were stabbed in the face and neck, authorities said.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that 20-year-old Dylan Quick used a razor-type knife, and that he told investigators he’d been planning the attack at the suburban Houston campus for some time. Two people remained in critical condition late Tuesday.
Pieces of the blade were found in at least one victim, according to the sheriff’s office. Broken blade pieces also were found in the area where the stabbing occurred on the Lone Star Community College campus in Cypress, and the handle was discovered in a backpack that Quick was carrying when he was arrested.
Quick was charged Tuesday night with three counts of aggravated assault. It wasn’t immediately clear if additional charges would be filed.
Authorities were seen entering Quick’s parents’ home in a middle-class neighborhood of Houston late Tuesday. No one answered the door or the phone at the red brick house, where two vehicles were parked in the driveway, including a Honda Accord with a license plate that said “DYLAN.” It was not immediately known if Quick had an attorney.
“I can’t imagine what would have happened to that young man to make him do something like this. He is very normal,” said Magdalena Lopez, 48, who has lived across the street from the Quick family for 15 years.
Quick, she said, would always say hi to her and her family when she would see him outside taking out the trash or working on his family’s front lawn. Quick is deaf, she said, and a street sign, “Deaf Child In Area,” was posted on the block of brick, ranch-style homes warning drivers of his condition.
“I can’t believe he would do it,” Lopez said.
The stabbing spree began around 11:20 a.m., and students described a bloody scene.
Diante Cotton, 20, said he was sitting in a cafeteria with some friends when a girl clutching her neck walked in, yelling: “He’s stabbing people! He’s stabbing people!”
Cotton said he could not see the girl’s injuries, but when he and his friends went outside, they saw a half-dozen people with injuries to their faces and necks being loaded into ambulances and medical helicopters.
Michelle Alvarez told the Houston Chronicle that she saw the attacker running toward other students and tried to back away. She said she didn’t even feel it as he swiped at her.
“He came running and swinging at my neck, as I tried to get out of the way,” she said.
Harris County Sherriff Adrian Garcia said that when emergency calls came into the department, there were indications that “students or faculty were actively responding to work to subdue this individual.”
“So we’re proud of those folks, but we’re glad no one else is injured any more severely than they are,” Garcia said.
Media and police swarmed the quiet neighborhood about 10 miles from the campus after the attack. Some neighbors described him as quiet, and noted that he didn’t appear to have many friends, staying indoors most of the time unless his parents were outside working in the yard.
Michael Lincoln, who lives next door to the Quick family, described the suspect as friendly.
“If he’s outside, he speaks to me, `Hey neighbor, how you doing?”’ Lincoln said.
He added that Quick had never been aggressive, which makes the accusations against him shocking.
“He stayed inside most of the time unless they were doing yard work,” he said.
Elva Garcia, 46, who lives two houses down from the Quicks, described him as a nice young man who stayed out of trouble and only came outside with his parents. She saw him, she said, just this past weekend, working with his parents in the front yard.
“We can’t even believe it. What motive would he have?” Garcia said.
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.