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Student to appear in court over alleged knifing of classmates at Texas campus

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Posted at 8:41 AM, Apr 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-11 08:41:51-04

Dylan Quick mugshot

By Michael Martinez

Catherine E. Shoichet and Ben Brumfield

(CNN) — A college student who allegedly wielded a knife at classmates on his Texas college campus is expected to have his first court appearance Thursday.

Dylan Quick, 20, went on a stabbing spree Tuesday at Lone Star College near Houston, authorities said.

By the time police took him into custody, 14 people had been injured at the CyFair campus. It’s unclear how many of those harmed were stabbed and how many suffered other injuries.

The college changed his life

For better or worse, Dylan Quick transformed his life on the campus of Lone Star College.

Born deaf, he received a cochlear implant at age seven. Quick overcame intense shyness and learned to express himself by joining a teen book club at age 12 at the college library, according to a profile of him on a student blog. The library club became like a “family” and “second home” for him, the profile said.

But he harbored a dark secret that played out eight years later after he enrolled as a student at the community college, authorities allege.

Forthcoming with information, Quick told police he had fantasies of stabbing people since he was age 8 and had been planning Tuesday’s attacks “for some time,” Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia told reporters.

The weapon used in the stabbings is best described as a “razor utility knife,” Garcia said. The crimes occurred on two floors at the school’s health science center.

Three people hurt in the stabbing were discharged from a Houston hospital Wednesday, while two others remained there in good condition, said hospital spokeswoman Kathryn Klein.

The campus shut down Tuesday, but reopened Wednesday.

Quick’s heroic story of triumph over adversity and his ambitions for the future now seem upended.

He has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, said Donna Hawkins of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Quick underwent a psychological evaluation Wednesday, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said. His court appearance Thursday is in Houston.

Overcoming obstacles

An article on how Quick overcame his challenges early in life appeared on the Lone Star student blog the first week of April.

His implant gave him the ability to hear, but he had to play catchup to learn how to speak vocally. His mother home-schooled him and got him involved in Lone Star’s library programs when he was a teen, according to KPRC.

Quick became a voracious reader and developed a close connection with the school, the affiliate said.

He rarely spoke during his first two years in the library’s teen activities program.

“But after those two years it was if a floodgate had opened up and Dylan became loquacious, sharing his analyses of literature and socializing with his book club comrades,” the blog article says.

“His room at home, he explains, barely contains his 1,000+ collection of books. In the future he plans to build and host an online international book club to connect people of all ages from around the world,” the profile says.

The teen book club on campus encourages youths to enroll in the community college after high school graduation, and Quick did.

Some faculty members said Quick was a good student there, Lone Star College-CyFair President Audre Levy told reporters Wednesday.

Also, staff members at the county library branch on campus, where Quick worked part-time for about a year, “had fond things to say of him,” Levy said.

“So many are surprised” that he was the suspect, she said.

Quick was planning to finish his associate’s degree at the college and then transfer to the University of Houston to study accounting.

Authorities: The rampage was premeditated

Witnesses to the stabbings described a chaotic scene: Bleeding victims collapsed to the ground. Students and teachers ran for cover. Some sprang into action, chasing after the assailant and helping the wounded.

Cassie Foe was in the school’s nursing lab when she heard a scream in the hallway.

Moments later, the nursing student put her training into action, placing pressure on a wound in a stabbing victim’s neck.

“It just seemed like he was just going around, basically getting whoever was more open and easiest for him to reach,” Foe told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday.

Steven Maida saw blood on a stairway and several injured victims.

“I just took off downstairs running,” he said. He was looking for the attacker.

Maida described joining a group of students who chased the suspect, tackled him and pinned him down until authorities arrived.

Knife sticking out of a cheek

At least one injured victim had what appeared to be the blade of a box cutter or an X-Acto knife sticking out of her cheek, student Melody Vinton told CNN affiliate KHOU.

Vinton said she had just left her chemistry class when she saw the attacker stabbing people, aiming at their necks and faces.

Four injured victims “were taken out on helicopters,” Harris County sheriff’s spokesman Alan Bernstein said.

Tuesday’s incident came more than two months after three people were wounded in a shooting at a different Lone Star College campus — the North Harris campus in Houston.

CNN’s Ed Lavandera, Joe Sutton, Jason Morris, Dave Alsup, Chandler Friedman, Paul Caron, Chuck Johnston, Ashley Fantz and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.

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