A male sophomore went on a stabbing spree at his Pittsburgh-area high school early Wednesday, an emergency management agency spokesman said.
At least 20 students at Franklin Regional Senior High School in Murrysville were injured, and the alleged attacker is in custody, said Dan Stevens, a spokesman for Westmoreland County Emergency Management.
The violence, Stevens said, happened in classrooms and a hallway. The suspect was handcuffed by a school resource officer, Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said, and a school principal had “an interaction” with the suspect, leading to his apprehension.
A fire alarm that was pulled during the stabbings “probably assisted with evacuating the school,” Seefeld said. He did not say who pulled the alarm.
A male sophomore described as “really shy”‘ went on a slashing and stabbing rampage Wednesday with two kitchen knives at a Murrysville, Pa., high school, injuring at least 19 students before he was subdued and handcuffed, police said.
At least eight people were hospitalized with serious injuries, many with deep puncture wounds to the abdomen, hospital officials said.
Doctors said a 17-year-old male student was in critical condition after being stabbed in his liver, diaphragm and major blood vessels, but that the blade missed his heart and aorta during the attack.
Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said the suspect, who is in custody, was being treated for injuries to his hand. The 16-year-old sophomore was tackled by Assistant Principal Sam King and handcuffed by a security guard, he said.
School Stabbing Spree – NBC
Seven teenagers and an adult were taken to Forbes Regional Hospital, Dr. Chris Kauffman, the trauma director there, told NBC News. The seven were stabbed in the chest, back and abdomen, he said. He characterized some of the injuries as life-threatening but said everyone was expected to live.
At least three students were in surgery. Others were undergoing CT scans and X-rays and could require surgery later, Kauffman said.
“None of these are superficial wounds,” he told reporters. “These are all significant stabbing wounds, every one.”
19 Students Hurt in Pennsylvania High School Stabbings – Wall Street Journal
Chief Seefeld described a chaotic scene but praised the immediate response by students and staff. After someone pulled a fire alarm, the school security guard and an assistant principal tackled the alleged attacker; the security guard was injured in the process.
“The situation was brought under control in the best manner,” Chief Seefeld said. “I think it could have been a lot worse if there wasn’t immediate action.”
Mark Drear, vice president of Capital Asset Protection, the security company that employs guards at Franklin Regional, said the school doesn’t have metal detectors.
The high school, which has about 1,200 students, posted a notice on its website saying that the campus was locked down after “a critical incident” and said law enforcement was working with the school to manage the situation. The school advised parents to pick up students at a nearby elementary school.