School officials are calling today's attack a "random act of violence", after four victims were attacked on the Louisiana Tech campus.

According to a release from school leadership, the attack took place just after 9am outside the Lambright Sports and Wellness Center. Tech Police were called at roughly 9:08am, and say they had the suspect in custody less than 5 minutes later.

Authorities say the attack occurred as the victims were leaving the Lambright Center. The suspect then attempted to flee towards the main campus, where he was taken into custody. NBC News has identified the suspect as 23-year-old Jacoby Johnson, a Louisiana Tech student. 

Of the victims, one was able to refuse treatment, while two were taken to a local Ruston hospital, and the fourth victim needed to be airlifted to Shreveport for treatment. The Ruston Daily Leader has confirmed the identity of the airlifted victim as Louisiana Tech grad student Dominique McKane. The Daily Leader reports McKane was leaving her Water Aerobics class at the Lambright was she was attacked.

Lambright Sports and Wellness Center -
Lambright Sports and Wellness Center -

Reports indicate that the other three victims are not students of Louisiana Tech.

Louisiana Tech Police Chief Randal Hermes told the Daily Leader that the suspect appears to have attacked the victims from behind as they were leaving the facility. He said:

“It sounds like he ran up behind them and surprised them”

Hermes added that prior to the attack, Johnson was in the building, then ran out behind the victims when the attack occurred. He echoed the statement from school leadership, calling this a "random act of violence".

You can read the complete statement from the leadership at Louisiana Tech here:

"Shortly after 9 a.m. there was a stabbing incident reported at the Lambright Sports and Wellness Center on the Louisiana Tech University campus. 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 of the building as the victims were leaving. The suspect then fled south toward main campus and was apprehended by campus police without incident.

This appears to be a random act of violence. The suspect has been identified as Louisiana Tech student, Jacoby Johnson. He is being treated at Northern Louisiana Medical Center for injuries received during the initial incident. Ruston Police Department and the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted with scene control and evidence collection.

There are four known victims; two were transported to a local hospital, one was airlifted to Shreveport, 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. The victim airlifted is a graduate student. The other three victims are non-students.

At this time, the Lambright Center is closed and will reopen at 1 p.m. All other campus operations are normal. The investigation is ongoing, and the University will provide an update later this afternoon.

Counseling Services is available to students individually and in a group setting at no additional charge. Appointments can be made by visiting Keeny Hall 310, calling 318.257.2488, or through the website. A special group offering will begin today at 3:00 p.m. and run throughout the week to provide a space for students to process emotions following the unexpected event."

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