Jennings County High School student stabbed - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Jennings County High School student stabbed

David MacAnally/Eyewitness News

North Vernon - A Jennings County High School student is in the hospital and another in jail after a stabbing in school that could have been deadly. Police are now investigating the motive behind the attack.

It was an emotional day at the high school in North Vernon Monday. 

"A bunch of people in my class were like crying and stuff. I knew the kid, the boy who was stabbed. Yeah," said one student.

North Vernon Police officer Andrew Richmond held his thumb and index finger about 4 inches apart as he showed the size of the slash found on the side of the boys neck.

16-year-old Lester Peacock's throat was slashed from behind by a 15-year-old sophomore while in an early school day study hall.

"Where the wound was and how deep it was, it could have been much worse. It missed several major blood vessels a fraction of an inch," said Officer Richmond.

Police say the 15-year-old suspect dropped the knife and ran from the building. Two hours later, police found him hiding in a ditch near his mother's house after he allegedly sent a text message telling others where he was.

One student says the principal came on the school's PA and announced a lockdown. 

"We thought it was a drill," said the student. The building remained sealed shut until they caught the suspect and, even then, stayed under heightened security the rest of the school day.

"It 's tragedy, it's a very bad thing," said the grandmother of another student at the large high school.

"He's doing all right so far. I never could believe it," the injured boy's cousin told Eyewitness News by phone.

Police are not talking about motive but a number of students told us that it was over a girl.

"It was an isolated incident. It was not a random act. It was just between these two," said Officer Richmond.

If any good came of Monday's attack police were pleased the school's emergency procedures worked so well and a boy didn't die.

"You hear about this happening at larger schools but never thought it would happen at home," a senior at the school told us. 

School violence: By the numbers
Meantime, the number of violent deaths in schools went up slightly last year. A new survey by the Bureau of Justice found 21 people were killed in the 2004-2005 school year. But the study also found that four of every 1,000 students that year said they were a victim of a violent crime.

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