2017 Transylvania University machete attack

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2017 Transylvania University machete attack
Academic Side of Transylvania University.jpg
Ariel view of Transylvania University
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Coordinates38°01′47″N 84°29′41″W / 38.02972°N 84.49472°W / 38.02972; -84.49472
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DateLua error in Module:WikidataIB at line 665: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Attack type
Non-fatal injuries
2 (+1)
Suspected perpetrator
Mitchell W. Adkins
MotiveRevenge for being bullied, hatred towards liberals and Democrats

The 2017 Transylvania University machete attack, also referred to as the 2017 Transylvania University stabbing attack,[1] took place on April 28, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky when a former student stabbed two people on the campus based on their political ideology.


According to witnesses, a former student of Transylvania University named Mitchell W. Adkins walked into a coffee shop on campus at around 8:45 a.m. EDT with a bag filled with various edged weapons.[2] He asked a student whether they were a Democrat or a Republican.[3] The student replied that she was a Republican to which Adkins responded "You are safe."[4] He then proceeded to ask two other students about their political affiliation and stabbed both of them with a machete.[5][6] Adkins suffered self-inflicted injuries as well.[4] Police were called immediately and Adkins was subdued without much resistance. He and and one of the victims were transported to the hospital to treat injuries.[2] Adkins was charged with first-degree and fourth-degree assault, and three counts of wanton endangerment.[4]


According to posts Adkins made online and opinion pieces he had written for BuzzFeed, Adkins felt discriminated against for being conservative.[3][6] He also asserted that colleges were biased against conservatives.[7]


Transylvania University cancelled all classes for the rest of the day.[2]


Adkins pleaded not guilty on May 1 and appears in court June 7. On May 1, the court ordered Adkins to undergo a mental status evaluation. On May 10, the Fayette District Court approved the search of a laptop used by Adkins, stating the Internet was "where he proclaimed his distaste with Transylvania’s political atmosphere and intolerance for political affiliation."[8]

See also[edit]

  • 2017 University of Texas stabbing attack
  • 2015 University of California, Merced stabbing attack
  • List of attacks related to post-secondary schools


  1. Eads, Morgan; Cheves, John (28 April 2017). "Man arrested in Transy machete attack wrote that he was bullied for being Republican". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "The Latest: Police ID Man Charged in Kentucky Machete Attack". The New York Times. Lexington, Kentucky. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Brennan, Christopher; Schladebeck, Jessica (28 April 2017). "Trump-supporting college machete attacker wrote about feeling bullied for being conservative". New York Daily News. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Eads, Morgan (28 April 2017). "'You are safe,' Transylvania attacker says to Republican student in coffee shop". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  5. "Report: Machete attacker on Kentucky campus asked about politics". CBS News. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mack, David (28 April 2017). "A Trump Supporter Allegedly Attacked Students At A Kentucky University With A Machete". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  7. Gettys, Travis (28 April 2017). "Machete-wielding Trump fan attacks non-Republicans in Kentucky campus rampage". Raw Story. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  8. Alfonso III, Fernando (10 May 2017). "Transylvania attack suspect's Buzzfeed article used to win search of his laptop". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky. Retrieved 15 May 2017.

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