A morning statistics lecture at the Australian National University (ANU) turned into classroom terror today when a male student attacked fellow students and the female lecturer with a baseball bat.
Acting Deputy Chief Police Officer Ben Cartright said that soon after 9 am the student stood from his seat in a classroom in the Copland precinct with a baseball bat and approached the lecturer at the front of the class.
Other students attempted to restrain the student but he struck them with the baseball bat before attacking the lecturer.
Acting Deputy Chief Police Officer Ben Cartwright said the students showed incredible bravery to protect the lecturer with one managing to take the bat off the assailant who was then restrained until campus security arrived.
The man assaulted four people, one male and three females, including the lecturer.
He said there were no religious or racial slogans uttered.
The ABC reported that a student in the classroom at the time said a man suddenly started hitting classmates.
“Many people got hurt, they were bleeding there, but he was still doing that,” she said. “I was running and shouting ‘help, we need help’.”
The ACT Ambulance Service treated the injured for non-life threatening but serious injuries and transferred them to the Canberra Hospital.
Police took the 18-year-old man into custody. The man is not known to police or intelligence agencies.
ACT Policing said investigations were ongoing and it was too early to determine the motivation for the assaults.
ANU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Marnie Hughes-Warrington acknowledged the rapid response of campus security and the police to what was a random and isolated incident.
She commended the students who intervened for their bravery.
The ANU’s first priority was the welfare of staff and students and counseling services were provided immediately to all those affected.
She said security would be stepped up for the ANU’s Open Day tomorrow.
ANU statement on assault on campus this morning. There is no ongoing threat to public safety on campus. pic.twitter.com/PTURulrzI6
— ANU Media (@ANUmedia) August 25, 2017
Were you there or do you know anyone involved?