UK students react to violent assault on campus

By: Jordan Vilines Email
By: Jordan Vilines Email

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It was a bizarre attack. Police say a man used a fire extinguisher to assault two employees at the University of Kentucky.

All is quiet now on UK’s campus and with two weeks until the start of school-- it's supposed to be. But early Thursday morning, campus was anything but calm.

Police say that’s when 23-year-old Chase Jackson walked into the Forestry Building asked to use the phone and that's when the unexpected happened.

“He began to assault the custodian with the fire extinguisher. At that time, the employee fled into another office and then he kicked the door into the initial research office where the employee was dialing 911,” said UK Police Chief Joe Monroe.

Monroe says Jackson assaulted a custodian and a researcher with a fire extinguisher that he had grabbed off the wall. He says Jackson continued beating one of the employees with the extinguisher until police arrived.

Both employees were taken to UK Hospital with non life-threatening injuries. At last check, only one of them has been released.

Jackson isn't affiliated with UK and police aren't sure what his motive was but they say the employees’ response to his random act was right on point.

“They did follow good procedure; they immediately called 911 which helped us immediately get up there,” Monroe said.

Millions of dollars worth of security improvements will be implemented on UK's campus within the next year, such as video cameras in the buildings, but UK Police say those safety measures still wouldn't have made a difference in this incident.

“People like this are uncontrollable of their behavior. It could have been just as easy for him to walk into a store and have a similar thing happen so it’s something we take very seriously.”

UK Police always beef up security at the start of the school year but some folks like Heather King choose to take safety into their own hands.

“There are times I’m walking through campus at 5:00 in the morning so I just keep my phone in one hand and my mace in the other,” King told us.

Police also want to stress the importance of being aware of your surroundings and always preparing for the unpredictable.

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