Lexington KY May 2 2017 A former Transylvania University (Ky.) student’s machete attack in a crowded coffee shop on campus was stopped shortly after it began Friday.
Police say former student Mitchell Adkins, 19, entered Jazzman’s Cafe Friday morning with a bag of knives and swords and stabbed a female student.
Multiple witnesses told police Adkins asked students for their political affiliation before attacking, reports the Washington Post. The Lexington Police Department has not confirmed those accounts.
Lexington Police Sergeant Jervis Middleton said Adkins entered the coffee shop and made several threatening statements before the attack.
Transylvania Director of Public Safety Gregg Muravchick said when Adkins attacked a student, coffee shop employee Erika Lyvers picked up a chair and yelled at Adkins, forcing him to divert his attention from the victim. Lyvers then locked herself in an area behind the counter.
Muravchick was in the university administration building next to the coffee shop when the attack began. Muravchick received an alert from the campus dispatcher when someone pressed the panic alarm behind the counter of the coffee shop, reports Kentucky.com.
As Muravchick ran toward the scene, he saw a female student who had been stabbed outside.
He entered the coffee shop with his pistol drawn and saw Adkins cornering several women in the back breezeway.
Muravchick said he commanded Adkins to drop his weapons and get on the ground. Adkins then briefly walked toward Muravchick before cutting himself in the arms, dropping his weapons and laying down.
“I was able to lay on top of him and tell the girls to remove themselves,” Muravchick said.
Adkins began struggling while Muravchick held him down with one hand, holding his pistol in the other. Transylvania President Seamus Carey and University Police Captain Robert Gowdy assisted in getting handcuffs on Adkins. At one point during the arrest a Taser was used on Adkins.
Muravchick praised the swift response of Lexington police and city ambulance crews following the arrest. He also said coffee shop employees Lyvers and Marcia Figgs saved lives by pressing the panic alarm.
“They’re the true heroes,” Muravchick said. “It could’ve been a lot worse.”
The student who was stabbed was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A second female student was treated for injuries sustained when Adkins hit her.
Adkins has been charged with first degree assault, three counts of first degree wanton endangerment and fourth degree assault.
Adkins withdrew from Transylvania in 2015.