Courts & Crime

College dean's throat slashed in Missouri campus attack

Twenty minutes before Gov. Jay Nixon was to have a press conference this morning at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley, a student wearing a bullet-proof vest slashed the throat of a college dean, police said.

Albert Dimmitt Jr., who is dean of instruction, collapsed to the floor. Students and faculty rushed to his aid and applied pressure to the wound while others tackled the suspect and held him until police arrived.

Dimmitt was taken to a hospital following the 9:40 a.m. attack at the Humanities Building on the campus at 3210 Southwest Trafficway.

Nixon's talk was planned for 10 a.m. It was canceled. Nixon had just arrived at the airport when the incident happened, a spokeswoman said.

Before the attack, the suspect had walked into a large room with multiple computer labs where the press conference was to be held "acting crazy," one witness said. He briefly grabbed the microphone and said "Check, check, check" and "Can you hear me?" before leaving the area near the podium.

An administrative assistant at the college saw the suspect acting suspiciously, moving slowly around the computer room and playing with a butterfly knife in his left hand. The assistant told Dimmitt that security should be notified. They believed the suspect overheard them and when Dimmitt left the room to call security, the suspect charged at the victim in a "full sprint," police said.

The suspect caught up with Dimmitt in the hallway just outside the lab and stabbed him several times. Faculty and students in the hallway tackled the suspect and twisted his hand, forcing him to release the knife. They held him down until police arrived.

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