The attack about 11:20 a.m. on the Lone Star Community College System's campus in Cypress sent at least 12 people to hospitals, while several others refused treatment at the scene, according to Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department spokesman Robert Rasa. Two people remained in critical condition Tuesday evening at Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute, spokeswoman Alex Rodriguez said.
Diante Cotton, 20, said he was sitting in a cafeteria with some friends when a girl clutching her neck walked in, yelling, "He's stabbing people! He's stabbing people!"
Cotton said he could not see the girl's injuries, but when he and his friends went outside, they saw a half-dozen people with injuries to their faces and necks being loaded into ambulances and medical helicopters.
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said it was not immediately clear what type of weapon was used, but there were indications when calls came in to the department that "students or faculty were actively responding to work to subdue this individual."
"So we're proud of those folks, but we're glad no one else is injured any more severely than they are," Garcia said.
Michelle Alvarez told the Houston Chronicle she saw the attacker running toward other students and tried to back away. She said she didn't even feel it as he swiped at her.
"He came running and swinging at my neck, as I tried to get out of the way," she said.
Student Michael Chalfan said he was walking to class when he saw a group of police officers also running after the suspect. He said one officer used a stun gun to help subdue the man.
Lone Star officials initially urged people on campus, about 25 miles northwest of downtown Houston, to take shelter and be on alert for a second suspect. But the sheriff's department said authorities believe just one person was responsible.
"It was the same suspect going from building to building," department spokesman Thomas Gilliland said.
Garcia said buildings still were being searched hours later. Long lines of vehicles carrying students and staff streamed off campus as law enforcement directed traffic away from the school.
Teaundrae Perryman said he was in class when he received a text message from a friend and went outside to see a young woman being loaded into an ambulance with what appeared to be stab wounds to either her neck or head. He said he didn't receive an email alert from the college until 11:56 a.m.
"I was concerned but I wasn't afraid because I was with a large group of people," the 21-year-old said, later adding, "The police got to the scene very quickly."
One student said she learned one of her classmates was stabbed after leaving the school's Health Science Center building.
"I called to check on another classmate who was still inside the building and she said the classroom was on lockdown and she said one of the classmates had been stabbed," said Margo Shimfarr-Evans told KHOU-TV. "It happened in the hallway."
Courtland Sedlachek, 18, was in class when his phone started buzzing along with the phones of everyone else in class. The room was temporarily locked down, but students were let out and off campus a short time later, in what Sedlachek described as an orderly evacuation.
The attack came three months after a different Lone Star campus was the site of a shooting in which two people were hurt. The suspected gunman in that incident is charged with aggravated assault.