KANSAS CITY – Gov. Jay Nixon said Thursday that he was "not scared" after learning he was the intended target of a man accused of stabbing a Kansas City college dean.
"I'm serious about this job, serious about traveling around Missouri and serious about seeing the people of this state," he said.
The Associated Press reported earlier Thursday that the accused attacker, 22-year-old Casey Brezik, told investigators he meant to attack the governor.
"He observed the faculty, and thinking it was the governor, he attacked the faculty member," Darin Snapp, a spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department, said in the Associated Press article.
"When the detectives told him it was not the governor, he appeared to be upset," Snapp said.
Nixon said the man who carried out the attack was "interested in wreaking some havoc," but the governor stopped short of confirming that he was the intended target.
"There have been indications made in interviews that he was looking towards making a large statement," he said.
The governor was forced to cancel an event at Penn Valley Community College on Tuesday after the school's dean, Albert Dimmitt Jr., was stabbed in the throat just minutes before Nixon was scheduled to speak.
Nixon addressed the attack Thursday at the Governor's Economic Development Conference in Kansas City. He did not mention the incident in his prepared remarks, but accepted questions at a media event later in the day.
There, the governor called the stabbing "concerning" and "sobering."
"It's a constant reminder that dangerous people are afoot," Nixon said.
The governor, flanked by two security personnel, did not detail what — if any – security changes have been made since the incident.
Brezik has been charged with two felony counts of both first-degree assault and armed criminal action, according to Jackson County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Hunt.
Hunt said he could not discuss any evidence in a pending case, including whether the governor was the target of the stabbing.
Under orders from the prosecutor's office, the Kansas City Police Department could not comment further on the case after 10 a.m. Thursday.