A man who attacked coffee shop patrons with a machete allegedly said he would not hurt Republicans.
On April 28, 19-year-old Mitchell W. Adkins of Cincinnati, Ohio, walked into a cafe inside of a building on the Transylvania University campus in Lexington, Kentucky, armed with a machete and knives, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
Before attacking patrons, he asked them their political affiliation because he was reportedly going to leave the Republicans unharmed.
“A guy came in, banged something, a hatchet or an ax, on the table and said, ‘The day of reckoning has come,’” university student Tristan Reynolds, who was in the cafe when the attack occurred, 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.”
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“We started to scatter and then very, very quickly, campus security was getting everybody sheltered and secure,” Reynolds added.
There were reportedly 30 to 40 people in the cafe at the time of the attack, according to Reynolds.
Adkins struck two women during the attack. One had to receive medical treatment for non life-threatening injuries at a university hospital, according to fire department Battalion Chief Joe Best. In an email to The Associated Press, Lexington police Sgt. Jervis Middleton said Adkins struck the woman with an edged weapon that caused her lacerations.
The second victim, who Adkins struck with the blunt end of the weapon. was treated by paramedics on campus.
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Transylvania University President Seamus Carey praised cafe employee Erika Lyvers for her actions during the attack, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
“This morning she picked up a chair to go after a 230-pound man wielding a hatchet,” Carey said in a letter to students, staff and faculty. “As we were talking in the aftermath of the incident, I commented on her courage. She summed up how we all feel today: ‘These students are our babies. Nobody’s going to hurt one of them without a fight.’”
Security officers responded to the attack quickly and subdued Adkins, a former undergraduate student of the university who left in 2015. He was transported to a hospital with self-inflicted injuries, according to police.
Carey praised security officers for their quick response.
“They’ve always been amazing, and today they proved their worth again..." Casey said. "..We are vigilant about safety on our campus,” Carey said. “Obviously you never expect something like this, but thankfully we were prepared when it did happen.”
Authorities charged Adkins with first-degree and fourth-degree assault, and three counts of wanton endangerment, police said.