RUSTON, La. – A stabbing Monday morning on the Louisiana Tech campus that injured four people appears to be a random act of violence, a university spokesman said.
Interim communications director Tom Soto identified the suspect as Louisiana Tech student Jacoby Johnson. He is being treated at Northern Louisiana Medical Center for injuries received during the incident.
Of the four victims, three are non-students and one is a graduate student.
Three were airlifted to a Shreveport hospital and the other refused treatment. As of 11:40 a.m., one victim is in critical condition at NLMC and the two other victims are in serious but stable condition.
KTBS has learned the names of two of the victims; however, authorities have not released the identities. Their ages are 23, two in their early 60s and one 72.
The stabbing was reported shortly after 9 a.m. at Lambright Sports and Wellness Center. Tech police received a phone call at approximately 9:08 a.m. and had the suspect in custody at approximately 9:12 a.m.
The attack happened outside the building as the victims were leaving.
“The three were attacked from behind,” the police chief said.
Johnson then ran south toward main campus and was caught by campus police without incident. A knife was collected as evidence.
Johnson has been charged with four counts of attempted second-degree murder.
The Lambright Center remains closed. All other campus operations are normal.
Tracy Campbell of Minden is likely one of the many parents of Tech students getting a phone call about the stabbing. Campbell said that’s a call no parent wants to get as his 18-year-old son Colin tarted out by telling him there was an attack on the campus and he was at the hospital. He asked his parents to come quick.
Soon, Campbell learned it wasn’t his son who was injured. Colin Campbell was driving back to his dorm when he saw people running from Lambright Center screaming. He noticed two were injured; one of whom stabbed in the neck.
Collin Campbell loaded both women in his truck and headed straight to the Ruston hospital while on the phone with 911. Another student transported a third student.
“We told Colin that God had him right where he was meant to be. He’s a hero in our book. Please be in prayer for the victims, their families, Colin, and the entire Tech and Ruston communities as they deal with this tragedy. We need a revival!” Tracy Campbell wrote.
“In the wake of this unsettling incident, our hearts go out to those impacted most directly,” Louisiana Tech President Les Guice said. “Our immediate focus is on those affected by today’s violence. While we’re grateful for the timely care being provided to the victims, we understand the shock and worry that may linger on campus and in the community. The University will continue to make safety a priority. Please know that you can and should be willing to give and receive compassion and support as needed during this time. I encourage you to rely on the bonds of the Tech community as we grieve and heal.”
A special counseling group offering began today at 3 p.m. and will run throughout the week to provide a space to process emotions following the unexpected event.
Additionally, a community prayer vigil will be hosted by the Black Student Union tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the Quad.
A campus blood drive is scheduled for Thursday outside Tolliver Hall between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.