Student Stabbed In SDSU Dorm Room

The suspect told authorities he was acting in self-defense

BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota State University officials say a student was stabbed on campus over the weekend and had to be airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital.

The suspect is a former student who told authorities he was acting in self-defense.

This comes as a shock to many in Brookings.

“This is pretty significant as far as assaults go because they’re so rare here,” says assistant vice president of campus safety and security Don Challis. “This is a pretty safe place to be.”

Staff and students at SDSU are still processing what happened in Brown Hall early Sunday morning.

“You don’t really think of a stabbing happening here on campus,” adds SDSU Freshman Colton Olson.

And the investigation is still ongoing- campus police removed the suspect’s belongings from the dorm Monday afternoon.

According to court documents, the suspect, 19-year-old Lucky Mai, was staying in his friends’ dorm room after he was removed from the school Friday and is no longer a student.

Mai told authorities when he went to bed around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, he was alone in the room.

His friends had not returned yet so he left the door unlocked.

Mai told authorities he was woken up just before 5 a.m. to an unknown person inside the dorm room, naked and urinating on objects.

He said the individual then laid down next to Mai, so Mai grabbed a knife on the dresser and “was scared and acted in self-defense.”

Challis says while the event is tragic there’s a good lesson to learn from it.

“In South Dakota this is pretty much a trusting culture and that’s okay,” says Challis. “At the same time let’s do what we have to do to stay safe and that’s locking your door.”

SDSU does allow guests to stay in the dorms if a student registers them.

One freshman says this happens often.

“If they’re fairly young, it’s hard to tell who is a college student or not so you just kind of have to trust that the people you live with are bringing in people that are safe and aren’t going to hurt anyone else,” says SDSU Freshman Laura Johnson.

While it’s something students weren’t expecting to hear about, they say they’re not going to let the shock turn into fear.

“There’s really no reason to be scared of it,” says Johnson. “It’s definitely hard to hear that that happened, but we have a very safe campus.”

Court documents say the victim also locked the dorm room door and then when he laid next to Mai, he touched Mai’s leg in a patting motion.

But Mai told authorities the victim did not make any threats, and Mai was not harmed other than a small cut on his hand.  Mai is in custody, facing an aggravated assault charge.

We asked if alcohol was a factor in this incident, campus officials say that’s still under investigation.

The victim suffered serious stab wounds but SDSU says he’s in stable condition.

Firearms are not allowed on campus but knives less than 5 inches long are allowed.

SDSU says, at this time, they do not know if the knife police obtained was against policy or not.

Categories: Community, Crime, Education