Kshitij Shrotri, a Tech AE PhD, 2008, has been charged with aggravated assault after he allegedly stabbed Samer Tawfik, a post-doctoral fellow on Thursday, Feb. 4 at approximately 1:15 p.m. at the Weber Space Science and Technology building. The victim was taken to Grady Hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) arrived on the scene shortly after the incident. In addition, Robert J. Turner, a GTPD officer sustained injuries to his hand while apprehending the suspect.
According to GTPD, the suspect is a former graduate student and used a sword to attack the victim. The motive for the attack is unclear, but witnesses on the scene stated that the attacker had been seen asking for funding for a postdoctoral fellowship for several days. The victim was taken out of the building on a stretcher. As of 5:20 p.m. on Thursday, the victim was in the operating room. “They sat there [the ambulance] for five minutes or so, but one of the officers had his… it looked like his hand was cut,” said Michael Sims, a fourth year ME student.
Although there was no emergency notification made after the attack, Tech issued an official statement on its main website at 2:40 p.m. stating the following, “The victim was reportedly injured and was taken to Grady Hospital. During the arrest, a police officer was slightly injured by the attacker. There is no further threat to campus. The building is closed while the incident is under investigation.”
Dr. Shrotri’s doctoral thesis, found at mentions that “When he is not working on his research, Mr. Shrotri enjoys training in martial arts and hiking.”
Many students who were attending classes in the Weber Building remained in class during the incident and during the following class time. Students in those class say that they were not notified to evacuate.
“He [the victim] was on a stretcher and he looked conscious… he didn’t look pale or anything. He was holding his arm to his stomach so it was unclear whether he was stabbed in the torso or the arm or both,” said Eriks Osvalds, an AE grad student when asked about the victim.
“First thing I saw was cops coming up and then two minutes later we saw them coming out with the katana sword covered in blood and then 10-15 minutes later we saw them bringing out the guy and he was bloodied all over his hand and chest… we knew it was serious,” said an anonymous witness.
Police arrived on the scene soon after the attack.
“An older lady or a teacher came out trying to flag down the police saying that there was a crazy student… officers pulled him out of the class and then the professor was carted away to the ambulance,” Sims said.
“The police got here really fast. Only one person was hurt other than a cop. So they were here right away,” said Osvalds.