Jacoby Johnson is the 23-year-old student accused of stabbing four people in a random knife attack on the Louisiana Tech University campus. says a statement from the university.
The Ruston Leader is reporting now that one of the victims, Annie Richardson, has died.
Louisiana Tech announced that Johnson, a senior at the university, “was booked into the Lincoln Parish Detention Center and charged with four counts of attempted second-degree murder. “The investigation is ongoing.” The victims included another student, the university said in a statement.
One of the victims has been identified from the Ruston Leader as Dominique McKane, “a graduate student who was leaving an aqua aerobics internship course in Lambright Tech’s Kinesiology Department at the time of the attack,” according to her Facebook page McKane also serves in the National Guard.
The Ruston leader identified the other victims as “former 3rd District Judge Cynthia Woodard, artist Annie Richardson and retired teacher Debby Hollimon, all of Ruston.” Woodward and Richardson were initially “in critical but stable condition,” the newspaper reported, and McKane was in stable condition. Hollimon “did not require treatment,” the newspaper reported.
The knife attack occurred on November 13, 2023. There is a photo that people are sharing on X that is said to be of Johnson, but Heavy is working to verify it.
Here’s what you need to know:
The university says the knife attack was “random” and that the suspect ran after them, “surprising” the victims.
The university described the stabbings as “random.”
According to the Ruston leader, the victims were “attacked while walking along the sidewalk on the east side of the downtown core near the outdoor pool.” The leader reported that Johnson was “allegedly inside the building and ran out, encountering the victims standing in his way.”
“It sounds like he ran after them and surprised them,” Louisiana Tech Police Chief Randal Hermes told the Ruston Leader.
Shortly after 9 a.m., “a knife attack was reported at the Lambright Sports and Wellness Center on the campus of Louisiana Tech University. “Tech Police received a call at approximately 9:08 a.m. and had the suspect in custody at approximately 9:12 a.m.,” Louisiana Tech wrote.
“This appears to be a random act of violence. The suspect was identified as Louisiana Tech student Jacoby Johnson. He is being treated at Northern Louisiana Medical Center for injuries sustained in the initial incident. “The Ruston Police Department and the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted in controlling the crime scene and collecting evidence,” the university wrote.
“There are four known victims; two were transported to a local hospital, one was flown to Shreveport and the other refused treatment. As of 11:40 a.m., one victim was in critical condition at NLMC and the other two victims were in serious but stable condition. The victim who was flown was a doctoral student. The other three victims are not students,” the statement said.
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,” Louisiana Tech continued.
Jacoby Johnson is accused of stabbing people leaving the construction and exercise course
The university announced that the stabbings occurred at the Lambright Sports and Wellness Center on campus. “The attack occurred outside the building as the victims were exiting the building. The suspect then fled south toward main campus and was apprehended by campus police without incident.”
According to the Ruston leader, Woodard and Richardson were “leaving a senior exercise class” when they were attacked. McKane was attacked in the parking lot, as was Hollimon, who tried to help him, the newspaper reported.
“Thanks to the efficient actions of the Louisiana Tech University Police Department, the suspect in the stabbing attack this morning at the Lambright Sports and Wellness Center was quickly apprehended and taken into custody,” the university wrote in its statement.
“The Ruston Police Department, Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office, Ruston Fire Department and Pafford EMS assisted in controlling the scene and providing care, assistance and transportation to the four victims of the attack.”
Dominique McKane is a wife and mother who serves in the National Guard and Cynthia Woodard is a retired judge
Chandler McKane shared a picture of Dominique McKane on Facebook and wrote: “Update. We got her a Dr. Pepper and Snickers worried 🤣😎🙌 Hoping to get home today. She misses her babies.”
One woman wrote on her page: “The absolute STRONGEST and BRAVE woman I know!” I spoke to Dominique this morning and she is in great spirits, which is a testament to how tough she is. I cannot express how proud I am of her for putting herself in harm’s way to help the others who were attacked. Our girl has a lot to heal, but one thing is for sure: Dominique Moses McKane will always persevere!”
The woman added, “Through a stint in the National Guard, Chandler’s deployment, two pregnancies, being a full-time student and an amazing mother… and now this attack… Dominique has earned her college degree and will be graduating this Saturday.”
We enter the holiday season with SO much to be thankful for…”
According to Ballotpedia, Cynthia T. Woodard was “Judge of the 3rd Judicial District in Louisiana (Union and Lincoln Parishes). She was elected to this position in 1996. She was re-elected in 2014 for a term from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2020.” She is retired.
According to the Ruston leader Richardson was an artist.
According to their Facebook pageHollimon is “former Program Director for Reading and Study Skills at USAFA Prep School of the United States Air Force Academy.”
Heavy is working to verify a photo of Richardson.
The university president called the knife attack “disturbing” and one of the victims described the suspect’s “flat” expression
“Following this disturbing incident, our thoughts are with those most directly affected,” Louisiana Tech President Les Guice said in the university’s statement.
“Our immediate focus is on the people affected by today’s violence. While we are grateful for the timely care provided to the victims, we understand the shock and concern that may reverberate on campus and in the community,” he said. “The university will continue to prioritize safety. Please know that during this time you can and should be willing to give and accept compassion and support when needed. I encourage you to rely on the bonds of the tech community to grieve and heal.”
According to Louisiana Tech, “The university’s counseling services are available to students individually and in groups free of charge. Appointments can be made by visiting Keeny Hall 310, calling 318.257.2488 or visiting the website at latech.edu/counseling-services/.”
“A special counseling group offering began at 3pm today and will run throughout the week to create a space to process the emotions following the unexpected event. Additionally, the Black Student Union will host a community prayer vigil tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the Quad,” the university said. “An on-campus blood drive is planned for Thursday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. in front of Tolliver Hall.”
Hollimon, one of the victims, told the Ruston Leader, “I just ran towards her screaming, ‘Get off her, get away from her!’ He stands up and looks at me blankly, as blankly as possible.”
Of victim McKane, she said: “She was bleeding everywhere, it was terrible. We put pressure on things. She was very wet, very cold, very pale. She had lost blood and we were just trying to keep her alive.”
“I was standing at my truck and I see four girls running and screaming loudly, like bloodthirsty, and a young man came out,” witness Lesa Henderson told the Ruston Leader.
“They got to the end of the sidewalk and three girls escaped. That girl – I thought he was going to hit her. I just thought it was someone fighting. I never thought there was a knife.”
Johnson “appears to be suffering from mental health issues,” the Ruston Leader reported, citing the police chief.
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