1 in custody, several seriously injured after Pennsylvania school stabbings
A 16-year-old student in Pennsylvania will be charged as an adult after police say he went on a stabbing rampage today at his high school. Nineteen of his classmates and one security guard are injured, some critically.
The morning calm at Franklin Regional High School outside Pittsburgh erupted into violence around 7:15 this morning just as students were arriving for class. A student wielding two large knives went on a rampage, stabbing several students.
"Upon arrival what I saw were multiple victims in the grass area on the exterior of the school," said Thomas Seefeld, Murrysville chief of police. "Further checking the first floor hallway revealed multiple victims."
Before it was over, 19 students and one adult were injured, many critically with what doctors describe as deep penetrating wounds.
Panicked parents rushed to the scene, searching for news of their children.
The attack, which happened over the course of some 20 minutes, spread across several rooms and hallways. A quick-thinking student is being praised for pulling a fire alarm to warn others.
"The fire alarm went off. I was walking towards the exit and there was blood all over the floor," said Zakery Amsler, student.
"It just kind of hits you. You don't think it's going to happen until it happens to you. It was rough," said Joshiah Wages, senior.
The suspect was eventually confronted and restrained by the principal.
"Mr. King immobilized him, pinned him down. I jumped on top of him as well and just held down his wrist and arms and tried to keep the arms stationary," said Ian Griffith, student.
"Today our school community experienced a terrible tragedy the actions and the response of our staff and students and local law enforcement officers saved many lives," said Gennara Piraino, Franklin School District superintendent.
The suspect is a 16-year-old tenth grader who is now in custody as investigators try to determine a motive.
Earlier Wednesday Dr. Chris Kaufman said two victims were in the operating room and one was awaiting surgery at Forbes Regional Medical Center, a few miles from Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.
Officials say four students were believed to be the most seriously injured.
Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman Dan Stevens says not all of the 20 injured were cut by the knife, though most were. Some suffered scrapes and cuts in the mayhem that ensued.
Doctors said two students had to be intubated at the school and one was rushed into surgery for deep, penetrating wounds to the liver.
At least three students were undergoing surgery a few hours after the attack, doctors said.
The district serves about 3,600 students who live in the bedroom communities of Murrysville, Export and Delmont. The elementary and middle schools are part of the same campus.
The high school was on lockdown, and students were being kept there as a precaution as school and law enforcement officials double-checked the premises. School officials were making arrangements to bus the middle school students home.