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College became his 'second home' at 12; now he's suspect in campus stabbings

By Michael Martinez. Catherine E. Shoichet and Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 4:46 PM EDT, Wed April 10, 2013
Harris County sheriff's officers seal off the campus after at least 14 people were injured in a stabbing incident at the CyFair campus of Lone Star College in Cypress, Texas, on Tuesday, April 9. The community college in northwest Houston was on lockdown and police detained student Dylan Quick, 20. Harris County sheriff's officers seal off the campus after at least 14 people were injured in a stabbing incident at the CyFair campus of Lone Star College in Cypress, Texas, on Tuesday, April 9. The community college in northwest Houston was on lockdown and police detained student Dylan Quick, 20.
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14 wounded in Lone Star College stabbing
14 wounded in Lone Star College stabbing
14 wounded in Lone Star College stabbing
14 wounded in Lone Star College stabbing
14 wounded in Lone Star College stabbing
14 wounded in Lone Star College stabbing
14 wounded in Lone Star College stabbing
14 wounded in Lone Star College stabbing
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Student blog says "it was if a floodgate had opened" as suspect overcomes shyness
  • Born deaf, suspect learned to express himself at a teen book club on campus
  • Dylan Quick is forthcoming with information, police say
  • Quick is to undergo a psychological evaluation, the Harris County DA says

(CNN) -- For better or worse, Dylan Quick transformed his life on the campus of Lone Star College.

Born deaf, he overcame intense shyness with a cochlear implant and learned to express himself by joining a teen book club at age 12 at the college library, according to a profile of him on a student blog. The library club became like a "family" and "second home" for him, the profile said.

But he harbored a dark secret that played out eight years later after he enrolled as a student at the community college, authorities allege.

Quick, 20, is accused of a carrying out a bloody stabbing rampage Tuesday at Lone Star College's CyFair campus near Houston, and on Wednesday, he was "interacting well with investigators," Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia told reporters.

Forthcoming with information, Quick told police he had fantasies of stabbing people since he was 8 years old and that he had been planning Tuesday's spree "for some time," Garcia said. The rampage resulted in injuries to 14 people.

The weapon used in Tuesday's stabbings is best described as a "razor utility knife," Garcia said.

The crimes occurred on two floors at the school's health science center, Garcia said. It's unclear how many of the injured were stabbed and how many suffered other injuries.

Three people injured in Tuesday's Lone Star College stabbing were discharged from Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston on Wednesday, while two others remained there in good condition, said hospital spokeswoman Kathryn Klein.

The campus shut down Tuesday, but reopened Wednesday.

Authorities and the blog portrayed Quick as someone who triumphed over deafness -- with the help of the college's teen book club -- and had big plans for the future.

Those plans now seem upended. Quick was undergoing a psychological evaluation Wednesday, and his first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday in Houston, the Harris County District Attorney's Office said.

Horrific scene at Lone Star College

Quick has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, said Donna Hawkins of the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Overcoming obstacles

Quick received the cochlear implant at age 7, CNN affiliate KPRC reported. An article on how he overcame challenges early in life appeared on the Lone Star student blog the first week of April.

The implant gave him the ability to hear, but he had to play catchup to learn how to speak vocally. His mother home-schooled him and got him involved in Lone Star's library programs when he was a teen, according to KPRC.

Quick became a voracious reader and developed a close connection with the school, the affiliate said.

He rarely spoke during his first two years in the library's teen activities program, including two monthly book club sessions devoted to classics and contemporary books, and weekly summer book groups.

"But after those two years it was if a floodgate had opened up and Dylan became loquacious, sharing his analyses of literature and socializing with his book club comrades," the blog article says.

The blog features photos of the red-haired Quick at the library, including one at age 14 wearing an "AC/DC Back In Black" T-shirt with his arm around his red-haired mother. A more recent photo shows Quick with a mustache and petite goatee.

"His room at home, he explains, barely contains his 1,000+ collection of books. In the future he plans to build and host an online international book club to connect people of all ages from around the world," the profile says.

The teen book club on campus encourages youths to enroll in the community college after high school graduation, and Quick did.

Some faculty members said Quick was a good student there, Lone Star College-CyFair President Audre Levy told reporters Wednesday.

Also, staff members at the county library branch on campus, where Quick worked part-time for about a year, "had fond things to say of him," Levy said.

"So many are surprised" that he was the suspect, she said.

Quick was planning to finish his associate's degree at the college and then transfer to the University of Houston to study accounting.

But Quick had also been harboring his darker dream, police said.

Authorities: The rampage was premeditated

"According to the statement the suspect voluntarily gave investigators, he has had fantasies of stabbing people to death since he was in elementary school," a statement from the Harris County Sheriff's Office said.

Witnesses to the stabbings described a chaotic scene: Bleeding victims collapsed to the ground. Students and teachers ran for cover. Some sprang into action, chasing after the assailant and helping the wounded.

Cassie Foe was in the school's nursing lab when she heard a scream in the hallway.

Moments later, the nursing student put her training into action, placing pressure on a wound in a stabbing victim's neck.

"It just seemed like he was just going around, basically getting whoever was more open and easiest for him to reach," Foe told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday.

Steven Maida said he saw so many people swarming that he thought it was a campus tour. Then, he saw them running and heard someone say, "My friend's been stabbed."

Maida said he saw blood on a stairway and several injured victims.

"I just took off downstairs running," he said. He was looking for the attacker.

Maida described joining a group of students who chased the suspect, tackled him and pinned him down until authorities arrived.

"I couldn't run the other way like everyone else was," he said.

A bloody spree

Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Gilliland said authorities received an initial report that the suspect had been wrestled to the ground by a student before campus police arrested him.

At least one injured victim had what appeared to be the blade of a box cutter or an X-Acto knife sticking out of her cheek, student Melody Vinton told CNN affiliate KHOU.

Vinton said she had just left her chemistry class when she saw the attacker stabbing people, aiming at their necks and faces.

Soon, she was trying to help victims, ripping a paper towel dispenser off a bathroom wall to get enough paper to help stem the bleeding.

"I turned around, and there was just blood. Just blood dripping down the stairs, all over the floor, all over everyone's towels on their necks. Just a lot of blood," she told KHOU.

Four injured victims "were taken out on helicopters," Harris County sheriff's spokesman Alan Bernstein said.

Tuesday's incident came more than two months after three people were wounded in a shooting at a different Lone Star College campus -- the North Harris campus in Houston.

CNN's Ed Lavandera, Joe Sutton, Jason Morris, Dave Alsup, Chandler Friedman, Greg Botelho, Paul Caron, Chuck Johnston, Ashley Fantz and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.

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