Kendrex White spoke out about racism and police brutality in the months before he allegedly launched a knife attack on the University of Texas campus on Monday, leaving four people hurt including one dead.
The attack took place on Monday afternoon, with witnesses saying that White started attacking strangers at random with a large hunting knife. The attack left three people injured and one dead, but has also left plenty of questions about why the aspiring doctor and friendly student launched the attack.
Students who witnessed the knife attack said that Kendrex White appeared to calmly attack his victims.
“The guy was standing next to me,” student Rachel Prichett told The Associated Press.
“He grabbed him by the shoulder and shoved the knife in it. I just started running as fast as I could.”
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) May 1, 2017
Others said they were confused at first, not knowing whether the attack was legitimate or just some kind of strange prank.
UPDATE: Here is a testimony from a witness who wished to remain anonymous. pic.twitter.com/ee1I9qrdGs
— Anna Maria (@AnnaMariaWard) May 1, 2017
Police were eventually able to detain White, with pictures showing officers putting on handcuffs on White as the suspect appeared to be unharmed.
White’s motive for the attack remains unclear, police said, though some people close to the 21-year-old said he had been having some difficulty in recent weeks. White had recently been arrested and charged with DWI, KXAN reported.
“Travis County records show he was arrested and charged with DWI on April 4, 2017. According to an arrest affidavit, White got into a crash when he failed to yield to the right of way when he turned at the corner of Whitis and Dean Keeton. When an officer spoke to White, he said he took two ‘happy pills,’ which were listed as Zoloft.”
In the hours before the attack, Kendrix White posted a short video on Snapchat showing himself swaying to a song and tweeted a strange message.
— Ryu Ken ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) (@Kchazz) May 1, 2017
But some people who know Kendrex White disputed that he was drunk, saying instead that his epilepsy caused the car crash.
Kendrex White claimed he was in car accident a few weeks ago due to a seizure. He said the police thought he was intoxicated but he was not
— Korbin Springer (@KJSpringer23) May 1, 2017
Kendrex White had been outspoken on issues of racism and police brutality. He made a recent class presentation on the topic, with the entire presentation uploaded to the site Prezi. While Kendrex White made mention of the Ferguson riots and other high-profile incidents, he did not take a hard stance.
Instead, White called on police to be more sensitive.
“I feel like instead of teaching people how to act around police, there should be some form of sensitivity training for law enforcement,” he wrote.
Most who know Kendrex White said they are shocked at the attack, noting that he had been a good student and was dedicated to becoming a doctor. As The Associated Press reported, he was also involved in a professional organization for black students on campus.
“Kendrex J. White was an active member of the Black Health Professionals Organization student organization on campus. The group’s new president, Melody Adindu, says White was passionate about his work and that she knew him as ‘very interactive and easygoing.’ “
Another student, Angela Bonilla, told the Killeen Daily Herald (via The Associated Press) that “no one expected him to do this. He was always the sweetest guy, laughing, and having a good time with people.”
Other students noted that White’s normally friendly demeanor was different in recent weeks. A student named Joshua Anderson told The Associated Press White had been missing classes and told Anderson “that he had to put academics on the back burner for a bit.”
Police said they do not yet know any motive of why Kendrex White may have launched the knife attack on the University of Texas campus.
[Featured Image by Ray Arredondo/AP Images]