Four people were injured in the incident and the alleged attacker, who is also a student, is now in the custody of the police. He was described as an 18-year-old caucasian male, and â€œwas not known to police or intelligence agenciesâ€.
ANU Vice-Chancellor Marnie Hughes-Warrington said students have shown â€œincredible courage to protect the teacherâ€.
â€œAll the indications are at this stage, is that this is an isolated incident,â€ he said.
â€œThe student stood up on the back of the class and approached the teacher and other students intervened, and that is how the injury occurred.â€
The student has entered an ANU tutorial room in the Copland Building and allegedly assaulted four students and a teacher around at 9.15 on a Friday.
The students were taking a class of statistics in time. The classroom is near the student union building.
Police leave Copeland GO32 classroom at ANU Canberra with evidence. Picture: Ray Strange.
Activities of the police at Copeland GO32 classroom at ANU where the assault took place. Picture: Ray Strange
Early reports suggested the attacks were random in nature, but the ANU student newspaper Woroni reported that the man â€œappeared to attack Asian students.â€
Second year student Zhuangzhuang Niu discovered the attack through a group chat.
â€œI heard that was a Chinese girl who was hit in the head with a bat. It is very serious,â€ he told News Corp.
â€œI do not believe that the attack was targeted. Most of the students in the class were Asian.â€
Mr. Zhuangzhuang said the campus is generally safe for students.
Asian students Zhuangzhuang Niu (left) and his friend Clark at the ANU Canberra, where an attack that took place today Picture: Ray Strange.
Australia, China, Youth Association of the ANU chapter president Tony Oj I don’t want to speculate on a problem, but it has encouraged students to seek advice in case of need.
ANU studentsâ€™ Association has not responded to requests for comment but communicated to the students through Facebook that there was no threat to the safety of staff or students.
ACT policing deputy chief police officer, Ben Cartwright has said that the injury is â€œnot life-threatening, but seriousâ€. He also said that some of the injured students were Asian.
â€œOne of the students took the baseball bat from the student and ran away,â€ he said.
â€œThe students are able to alert campus security about the incident, which has restrained the attacker until police arrived.â€
Two of the injured in the attack remain at Canberra Hospital.
An ACT Health spokesman said the pair, a male and a female, both were stable and were receiving treatment for minor injuries.
The other two female patients have been discharged. The spokesman has not confirmed if the teacher had been one of the women resigned already.
Students spend Copeland GO32 classroom at ANU Canberra where the incident happened. Picture: Ray Strange.
A statement by the ANU press office said that there was â€œno indication of reasonsâ€ yet.
When asked about the attack racially motivated, the ACT of Police said they had not ruled anything, and forensic investigators are on the scene.
Scientific police with two large bags of evidence have left the classroom, which remains isolated. Courses in the room, were cancelled for the rest of the day.
The police tape around the classroom has been removed a little after 2 in the afternoon.
They are planning to interview a large number of witnesses.
Activities of the police at Copeland GO32 classroom at ANU Canberra, where an attack took place. Picture: Ray Strange.
ANU student Max Claessens told News Corp Australia that his friend, who was in the classroom, has described the attack as a complete surprise.
â€œOne of the students randomly out of the blue stood up with a club, and struck two or three students before apparently going to the teacher,â€ she said.
â€œObviously people were a bit of a shock, so they ended up to get help before the guy, that was not calm, he was going a bit crazy, to be honest, was detained.â€
Mr Claessens said that no one knew what sparked the attack.
Politics student Max Claessens, whose friend witnessed the assault. Picture: Ray Strange.
â€œIt was out of the blue, and nothing seemed irregular about the boy,â€ he said.
â€œHe had been in the class since the beginning of the term, so it was not a person unknown to all.â€
His friend, who is Asian, said that there was no indication the attack was racially motivated and aimed at any other group.
There was a random attack on students of the ANU campus, several wounded, of which a man has been taken into custody #canberra pic.twitter.com/U2xGPQqOlZâ€” Jolene Laverty (@Jolene_Laverty) On The 25th Of August 2017
The emergency staff was amazing, #ANU staff already offering advice to anyone interested in #canberra pic.twitter.com/zhCJ2XaJbzâ€” Jolene Laverty (@Jolene_Laverty) On The 25th Of August 2017
But ANU students Jessica Zhao and Lucas Ni say rumours are flying around campus that the attack was directed at Asian students.
Neither was present in the classroom, near to Toad Hall, at the time, but to say that the campus is generally very safe.
â€œI’m not sure, but I felt that it was of Asian girls that are being targeted,â€ ms. Zhao said.
Both of them are international students.
Mr. Ni said that the campus felt safe, even at night, and the students were able to contact campus safety if they have had any problems.
ANU students Jessica Zhao and Lucas Ni. Image: Claire Bickers
Distressed student told the ABC as he saw a classmate begin to wield a baseball bat against those who are in the classroom around her.
â€œMany people are hurt … (but) a man who was very brave and helped us to stop what he was doing,â€ he said.
The fight unfolded in the room to the door, preventing students from escaping.
â€œBecause my classmate was very bad, I called the police,â€ he said.
â€œMy tutor took his baseball bat, (and) opened the door (to) let …
â€œI was running and shouting: “help, we need help.â€
She said there were between 10-15 people in the class at the time of the attack.
#ANU students in the classroom at the time of a baseball bat attack, said a man suddenly started hitting his classmates https://t.co/dv79NALdlr pic.twitter.com/qskEWFFezHâ€” ABC News Canberra (@abcnewsCanberra) on the 25th of August 2017
Another witness to the aftermath of the attack, a student of Jolene Laverty has told 3AW radio host Neil Mitchell has seen the alleged offender to be arrested by the police.
â€œI saw him get arrested, he could be a student,â€ Ms Laverty said.
â€œIt was about the right age.â€
A man has been taken into custody after several people were attacked on the Canberra campus of the Australian National University. Photo: Twitter/Jolene Laverty
Ms Laverty said that he was going to a conference, when he has seen students with injuries outside of a class.
â€œI looked up and there were a couple of students that were bleeding,â€ he said.
â€œI’ve seen enough serious injuries to the head of a man.â€
Ms Laverty said that she had never seen a weapon, but he heard security guards discussing that the offender has used a sledgehammer.
Another witness, Alex Voung, told Yahoo 7 that it has been said that a man dressed in a â€˜hoodieâ€™ attached to some of the students and the teacher. The man left the room immediately after the accident, Mr. Voung said.
The university says that those who are affected by this morning’s violence will be offered counselling. Photo: Twitter Photo: Twitter/Jolene Laverty
A representative of the student union NTEUACT told the media: â€œWe are confident that ANU has taken all reasonable steps as regards the management of this incidentâ€.
The ANU Copland building, scene of today’s baseball attack on students.
The University has said its first priority is the well-being of staff and students, and consulting services have been provided to all interested parties.
The police said that there was no threat to public safety.
They are asking anyone who witnessed the incident, call 131 444.
The police are on the scene of the Australian National University. Photo: Twitter Photo: Jolene Laverty
Today’s attack is not the first serious accident in an Australian university campus.
In 2002, a student entered a classroom at Monash University in Melbourne, killing two and wounding five. Huan Yun Xiang had entered the economy class with six loaded guns. As he tried to switch weapons after running out of ammunition, wounded a teacher and a student to tackle him to the ground.
Originally published as the Girl’s “head-shot” in ANU rampage