LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A man armed with a machete asked about the political affiliations of people at a university coffee shop Friday morning before injuring two females in central Kentucky, a witness said.
The assailant at Transylvania University was armed with a machete and knives and is thought to be a former student, Lexington police Sgt. Jervis Middleton told the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Police in a news release later identified the arrested man as 19-year-old Mitchell W. Adkins of Cincinnati. He was charged with first- and fourth-degree assault and three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.
Student Tristan Reynolds told the newspaper he saw the man enter the coffee shop.
"A guy came in, banged something, a hatchet or an ax, on the table and said 'the day of reckoning has come,'" Reynolds said. "He asked somebody what their political affiliation was, they said 'Republican' and the guy said 'you are safe.' And then I realized what was going on and started getting people out."
"We started to scatter and then very, very quickly, campus security was getting everybody sheltered and secure," Reynolds said.
Police said the two victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries. One was taken to a hospital and the other was treated at the scene.
Middleton said later in an email that the hospitalized victim was hit by the suspect's edged weapon and received lacerations and that the other victim was struck with the blunt end of the weapon. The suspect had self-inflicted injuries.
The hospitalized victim was "safe and her family is with her at UK Hospital," Transylvania University President Seamus Carey said.
Campus security officers were able to quickly subdue the assailant, which prevented further injury, Lexington Police Chief Mark Barnard said. Police said he was taken to a hospital with self-inflicted injuries.
The university canceled classes for the day.
Transylvania is a private liberal arts college founded in 1780 as the 16th college in the U.S. and has an enrollment of 1,050, according to the university's website.