Dylan Quick overcame a childhood disability and had big plans for the future.
But on Tuesday, the 20-year-old student went on a stabbing spree on his Texas college campus, authorities said.
By the time campus police took him into custody, 14 people had been injured at Lone Star College. It's unclear how many of the injured were stabbed and how many suffered other injuries.
The campus shut down Tuesday, but will reopen Wednesday.
Quick landed in jail. For now, his plans for the future may be in jeopardy.
Quick was born deaf and received a cochlear implant at age 7, CNN affiliate KPRC reported. An article on how he overcame challenges early in life appeared on a Lone Star student blog the first week of April.
The implant gave him the ability to hear, but he had to play catch up to learn how to speak English. His mother homeschooled him and got him involved in Lone Star's library programs, when he was a teen, according to KPRC.
Quick became a voracious reader and developed a close connection with the school northwest of Houston, where he later became a student, the affiliate said. He was planning to finish his associate's degree there and transfer to the University of Houston to study accounting.
The young man dreamed of starting a book club. But Quick had also been harboring a darker dream, police said.
Authorities: The rampage was premeditated
Quick told investigators he had fantasies of killing people and had been planning the attack for some time, sheriff's officials said late Tuesday. Quick used "a razor-type knife" to stab his victims, they added.
"According to the statement the suspect voluntarily gave investigators, he has had fantasies of stabbing people to death since he was in elementary school," a statement from the Harris County Sheriff's Office said.
Quick has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, said Donna Hawkins of the Harris County Prosecutor's Office.
Two of those injured remained hospitalized in critical condition late Tuesday, said Kathryn Klein, a spokeswoman for the Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene. Bleeding victims collapsed to the ground. Students and teachers ran for cover. Some sprang into action, chasing after the assailant and helping the wounded.
Cassie Foe was in the school's nursing lab when she heard a scream coming from the hallway.
Moments later, the nursing student put her training into action, placing pressure on a wound in a stabbing victim's neck.
"It just seemed like he was just going around, basically getting whoever was more open and easiest for him to reach," Foe told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday.
Steven Maida said he saw so many people swarming that he thought it was a campus tour. Then, he saw them running and heard someone say, "My friend's been stabbed."