AUSTIN (KXAN) — From emergencies and tragedies to animals showing up where they shouldn’t be — a variety of stories rounded out the Top 10 most read on kxan.com. Three stories following updates on a fatal stabbing on the UT Austin campus in May resonated with readers, and people also appreciated “news you can use” pieces that highlighted how to watch the solar eclipse and where to find gas in Austin.
One family got a rude awakening one February morning when their four-year-old informed them there was a snake in the toilet that wouldn’t flush. His parents sprang into action — eventually calling a snake removal company that found 23 snakes under and in their home.
In January a woman allegedly stabbed both her 5-year-old daughter and father-in-law, prompting a SWAT response to the home in Kyle. Officers found Krystle Villanueva naked inside the home. Her family said she had a history of drug use. Sheriff Gary Cutler said at the time it was probably the most horrific case in Hays County history.
A 19-year-old man was taken into custody in January after police responded to a shoplifting call. Police handcuffed Zachary Anam behind his back and placed him in the back seat. On the way to APD headquarters, officers said he began talking about suicide and said he had the means to kill himself. When officers pulled over and got out of the car, Anam shot himself. One of the officers was later suspended for 20 days for not conducting a thorough search.
UT Austin student Kendrex White is accused of stabbing multiple people on campus in May, killing one of them. He is from Killeen, Texas, and at the time was in his junior year of college studying biology. He previously had a DWI in Austin and had been recently involuntarily committed in another city, according to UTPD.
A solar eclipse generated excitement across the United States in August — the first visible in the continental U.S. in 38 years. Those in Central Texas were able to see a partial eclipse where the moon covered about 65 percent of the sun. A KXAN digital reporter was able to watch the solar eclipse from the air on a special flight that intercepted totality off the coast of Oregon.
Austin is right in the path of a total solar eclipse in 2024.
Following Hurricane Harvey, people rushed to fill up their gas tanks, causing a temporary shortage in parts of Texas. A map, which can still be used for those just searching for a place to fill up, showed Austin residents which stations in town still had gasoline available.
The record was set in 1980, when a fisherman caught an 871-pound shark. Then, Tim McClellan came along and smashed that record when he pulled a 1,033 pound hammerhead from the water during a July fishing tournament. Needless to say, he won first place.
A military plane used as a refueling tanker crashed in a field about 85 miles north of Jackson, Miss., in July. Debris were scattered in a five-mile radius around the crash site. At least 16 people on board died, and the fire burned more than four hours after the crash, sending black plumes of smoke into the air that was visible for miles.
A suspect armed with a “Bowie-style” hunting knife stabbed four people on the University of Texas campus near the Gregory Gym in May, killing a 19-year-old. One student described helping one of the victims staunch the bleeding when the suspect looked his way. “I thought I was going to die,” Krishant Dania told KXAN.
The suspect, Kendrex White, was taken into custody within minutes of police arriving.
Lori Brown received a phone call from her son’s number — but it was a young woman on the other line, saying Harrison Brown had been attacked when a man stabbed him and three others on the UT Austin campus. The young woman described how she was coming out of the gym when she saw Harrison clutching his chest with one hand and his cell phone with the other, and told her to call his mother. He died before his mother had a chance to say goodbye.