A college student walked into class and started swinging a baseball bat into the heads and bodies of his classmates. He didn’t stop until he was restrained.
The attack happened Friday morning, Aug. 25, at 9:15 a.m. at Australian National University in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The 18-year-old student walked into his statistics class, and after swinging at the teacher and students his bat made contact with four people before the chaos ended, the New York Post reported.
The four people are being treated for serious head and body injuries. His motives are unclear. Some suggest it was random, while others think he was targeting Asians. Three females and one male, including the teacher, were struck. Ten to 15 people were in the classroom at the time of the attack.
“I’m a bit surprised, to be honest,” said student Max Claessens to The Canberra Times. Claessens said his friend was present during the attack. “I didn’t expect something like this to happen. You can’t exactly anticipate someone picking up a bat in a statistics class.”
News reports out of Australia suggest he was going for the female lecturer, and the other students were injured when they attempted to intervene.
“They appear to be defensive injuries, we believe [there are] a couple of broken bones, a broken arm,” said Australian Capital Police Detective Superintendent Ben Cartwright to ABC News.
“Nothing seemed irregular about the guy,” added Claessens, via the New York Post report. “It was out of the blue … My friend had been sitting near him for the past four weeks in class, nothing seemed strange about him.”
The attacker stood near the doorway, making it difficult for students to escape. The bat was eventually snatched out of the attacker’s hands.
“Obviously people were in a bit of shock so they ran out to get help before the guy, who wasn’t calming down, he was going a bit crazy to be honest, was restrained,” added Claessens via News.com.au.
Police have the attacker in custody. They have informed the public that there is no ongoing threat, but two people remain in the hospital after the incident.
“It is too early to know the motivation behind this alleged assault and at this stage ACT Policing have not ruled anything out,” said Cartwright to ABC News.