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Knife attack victim Annie Richardson has died

One of the four victims of a knife attack at Louisiana Tech has died at a Shreveport hospital
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
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Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker has confirmed that one of the victims in Monday’s knife attack at Louisiana Tech, Annie Richardson, has died.

Mayor Walker confirmed her death while at a hospital in Shreveport, where he has been with the family throughout Tuesday afternoon.

Richardson was one of four victims attacked outside the Lambright Sports & Wellness Center Monday morning, allegedly by 23-year-old suspect Jacoby Johnson, a Louisiana Tech student from Rayville.

Richardson was a local artist in Ruston and was leaving an exercise class at the Lambright Center when attacked.

“My prayers are with Annie’s husband Peter, the entire Richardson family, and all who called Annie a friend,” Louisiana Tech President Les Guice said. “Our Tech family will feel the pain of this incident for some time but we are fortunate to have such a caring community to rely upon as we grieve together.”

Two other victims, Retired 3rd District Judge Cynthia Woodard and Tech graduate student Dominique McKane, are still recovering in a Shreveport hospital. A fourth victim, retired teacher Debby Hollimon, was cut on the face as she tried to help McKane during the attack, but was not hospitalized.

Johnson was originally charged with four counts of attempted second-degree murder. One of those charges has now been upgraded to second-degree murder.

Authorities continue to say Monday’s attack was a random act of violence and that Johnson had not been on anybody’s radar screen for problematic behavior.

“There was no rhyme or reason (to the attacks)," Louisiana Tech Police Chief Randal Hermes said.

Hermes said campus police had no previous encounters with Johnson. He was detained in February for possession of marijuana, but “nothing that would indicate concerning behavior.”

Johnson lived in an off-campus apartment. Police searched the apartment but found nothing to give them any clues about the attack, Hermes said.

3rd Judicial District Attorney John Belton said he will seek a grand jury indictment against Johnson. Belton said he expects to receive the incident report from Tech police within several weeks.

“We’ll take it to the grand jury immediately,” he said.

Louisiana Tech’s Counseling Services are available to students individually and in a group setting. Appointments can be made by visiting Keeny Hall 310, calling 318.257.2488, or visiting Group counseling sessions will be held daily at 3 p.m. for the remainder of the week.

A campus blood drive benefitting the victims is happening Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Center. Parking will be available in front of the Ropp Center for members of the Ruston community wishing to donate.

More details on this evolving story will be updated by the Ruston Daily Leader.