May 1, 2017
Dear UT Community:
Tonight, I write to you with a very heavy heart.
As I wrote earlier, there was a horrific act of violence that took place at the center of our campus this afternoon. Four UT students were attacked. One student was killed and three other students sustained injuries. University officials have reached out to their families to provide support. Two of the victims have since been released from the hospital.
A suspect, who is also a UT student, was apprehended within minutes of the attack and is in police custody.
I ask that our entire community come together to support the victims and their families. They are suffering, and we all must be there for them. Preparations are underway for a gathering to honor the victims that will be held in the coming days.
There is a great deal of fear on campus and in our community. That fear is very understandable, especially in light of recent vandalism and threats against students. Like you, we are following the rumors and reports circulating on social media. The UT Police Department, the Austin Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety are continuing to investigate all reports and do not believe that there are any further threats at this time. As a precaution, law enforcement agencies — UTPD, APD and DPS — have increased patrols on campus and west of campus. As always, if you see anything suspicious please call 911.
Many students and parents are frustrated with how long the university took to notify them of today’s attack. I understand those frustrations, and I am committed to faster notification in the future.
Classes and events will be held tomorrow. And I know that it will be a very difficult day for everyone on the Forty Acres, so please, be there for one another. The UT Counseling and Mental Health Center has extended its hours from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Wednesday. For more information about campus support services, click here.
Once again, please keep your thoughts and prayers with the victims and their families during this very difficult time.
Gregory L. Fenves