Stabbing spree at high school leaves 20 injured

A 16-year-old armed with two knives went on a stabbing and slashing spree at a high school on Wednesday, leaving 20 people injured, including a school police officer who eventually subdued him with the help of an assistant principal.
AP Wire
Apr 9, 2014

The attack occurred in crowded hallways just minutes before the start of school. Of the 19 students injured, four suffered serious wounds, but all were expected to survive, hospital officials said. The injured officer was discharged.

Murrysville police Chief Thomas Seefeld said the bloody crime scene at Franklin Regional High School, some 15 miles east of Pittsburgh, was "vast" and may take a couple of days to process. School superintendent Gennaro Piraino said the school would be closed for the foreseeable future.

"Our focus is on our students, staff and the community," Piraino said. "I pray and we pray that this doesn't happen in any school."

Police didn't immediately name the suspect, who was taken into custody and driven to and from the police station in the back of a cruiser for treatment for a minor hand wound.

Investigators haven't determined a motive, but Seefeld said they're looking into reports of a threatening phone call between the suspect and another student the night before. Seefeld didn't specify whether the suspect reportedly received or made the call.

The chief arrived to find students running out of the school at about 7:15 a.m.

Michael Float, an 18-year-old senior, said he had just gotten to school when he saw "blood all over the floor" and smeared on the wall near the main entrance. Then he saw a wounded student.

"He had his shirt pulled up and he was screaming, 'Help! Help!'" Float said. "He had a stab wound right at the top right of his stomach, blood pouring down."

Float said he saw a teacher applying pressure to the wound of another student who had been stabbed.

Float said he knew who the suspect was but didn't know him personally. "I heard he's a very nice kid. I don't know what drove him to do it," Float said.

Two student victims were in critical condition, according to Dr. Mark Rubino of Forbes Regional Medical Center, the closest hospital to the school, where eight victims were taken.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center treated a dozen patients. Officials said a 17-year-old boy and 14-year-old boy were in critical condition, a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy were in serious condition, and a 17-year-old boy and two 17-year-old girls were in fair condition.

Five patients had been discharged, including three 15-year-old boys, a 16-year-old girl and an adult, who is believed to be the school officer who suffered only superficial wounds.

Seefeld wouldn't detail the carnage beyond saying, "The juvenile went down the hallway and was flashing two knives around and injured the people."

Westmoreland County public safety spokesman Dan Stevens said not every injured student was stabbed, and that some suffered scrapes and cuts in the mayhem.

The chief said someone, possibly a student, pulled a fire alarm after seeing some of the victims being stabbed. Although that created chaos, he said, it also resulted in students running out of the school to safety faster than they might have otherwise.

"The fire alarm being pulled probably assisted with the evacuation of the school and that was a good thing that that was done," Seefeld said.

Authorities were crediting an assistant principal with subduing the suspect. Officials didn't immediately release his name, but he was identified by students as Sam King.

King's son told The Associated Press that his father was treated at a hospital, though authorities have said he was not wounded by the knife and is doing fine.

"He says he's OK. He's a tough cookie and sometimes hides things, but I believe he's OK," Zack King said.

King said his father was to be interviewed by police but said little about his role in the attack.

"I'm really happy. I'm proud of him," King said, adding his thoughts are with "the victims and their families who have to deal with this, and I hope the best for all of them and my prayers are with them."

Rubino, the hospital physician, said a girl who wasn't wounded likely kept an injured schoolmate from bleeding to death.

"She displayed an amazing amount of composure to really help that friend who has having pretty significant bleeding at that point, and the pressure that she applied probably played a significant role in his ability to survive this," Rubino said.

Public safety and school officials said an emergency plan worked as well as could be expected in this district of 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 as the high school and were to remain open.

The district conducted an emergency exercise three months ago and a full-scale drill about a year ago. "The plan will be reviewed again after this situation to see if it can be improved upon," Stevens said.

"We haven't lost a life and I think that's what we have to keep in mind," he said.

Comments

dyankee

AhHHHHHHHHHHHHH, we are such a victimization society!

Blood everywhere people scared, ciaos all around and the reaction that saved them all was the pulling of a fire alarm, says the Chief of Police!! Lets see, this I assumed, created more students in the hallway for a swinging lunatic with two knives in his hands, whom was ummm'......in THE HALLWAYS!!!

What happened to the assailant punk, AP??? How was this piece of garbage slammed to the ground? How many punches to the head did this worthless individual receive by the hero's(if any) on the scene?
Give us something to show the good guys are winning so, I don't have to sit here at my desk wanting to punch this screen across the room! Geeeeze!

The assistant principal had to help the police subdue this idiot? WhAT? You mean the secretary wasn't available? Do the police not carry weapons or tasers? Unbelievable.

Great, lets subdue this moron so, he can later sue the students he slashed for bullying him over the last few years and the pharmaceutical company that produces his Adderall.

Here should be the mandatory law enforcement strategy for any mass attack in any school or university in America:

"Storm the building, surround the assailant, impose immediate deadly force, arrest the parents(if attacker is a minor) and doctors prescribing the attacker's meds. seize their assets and bulldoze both their homes."

Problem solved.

Vladtheimp

I feel your pain, but think the cops might emulate this strategy: http://youtu.be/4DzcOCyHDqc

Mystic Michael

So then, what precisely is the bottom-line message of your incoherent rant, Yankee? What is the actual nugget of wisdom that you seem so eager (i.e. obsessed) to impart to us? Besides the realization that you're obviously aroused by violence, and that you have anger management issues?

dyankee

In part, to demonstrate that liberalism is a true mental disorder. You may not like my “rant” but I’m telling this country what it’s going to take to get it back from years of political & social correctness. You see, Mystic Mike, I’m demonstrating how not to become a victim yet, your response is classic to being one and symptomatic of the correctness that is destroying this country.

Mystic Michael

My "response" was simply to ask some questions. Are you suggesting that merely asking a question equates to being "a victim", and is "symptomatic of the correctness that is destroying this country?" And therefore implying that, in your perfect world of perfect order, no one would ever be allowed to ask a question?

If so, get ready, because here comes some more:

So then, according to your position of political & social INcorrectness, any show of compassion or reasonable restraint toward a boy who is obviously deeply disturbed is equivalent to some sort of liberal moral rot? And in this particular case, nothing short of...

"Storm the building, surround the assailant, impose immediate deadly force, arrest the parents (if attacker is a minor) and doctors prescribing the attacker's meds. seize their assets and bulldoze both their homes."

...would be sufficient to address the situation? Really?

How is it that executing mentally unstable people - on the spot - leads to a healthier society? How does punitively destroying the lives of the parents and/or medical doctor help prevent future mental illness?

There was a society, a political regime some 80 years ago, that held similar views about mentally ill people. And their "justification" for it sounded remarkably similar to yours.

Things didn't work out so well for them. Might you consider taking a cue from their mistakes? Or would doing so be too "politically correct?"

Wingmaster

Wonder if the knives used were registered?

Lanivan

Ahhh....now ain't this cozy? I just had to barge in and join you freebooters, just like back in the golden years when you were sure Mitt was gonna slay and subdue the moronic punk and evil forces with a sharp left uppercut.

Now if only Tri-Cities Realist would bring up the dungbie, we'd be all hands hoay.

Barry Soetoro

T-word alert.

Tri-cities realist

Oops I am late to the party. But just showing up counts now, right?

Lanivan

BAM!

dyankee

Hey Lanny, You know, I had to take a step back after your post and realize all the stars did allign on this topic....Dyankee, Vlad, Wing, Lanivan. How cool is that! You're right, where is that TCR boy? Strength in numbers, eh?(by the way, Mitt did win..Obama is a native American not a naturalized American. Since I've inspired you to read the Constitution, I will let you conclude the rest) This protege/Barry character of yours, is a pretty funny Demo-can. Not shure if he/she is a conservalism or liberaltive. However, this topic burns. Hate seeing one of the safest places for our kids to be hijacked. My fuse is clearly lit.

Lanivan

The stars aligned! Talk about poetic justice....Once again, I'll be the whipping 'boy' and say thank goodness this poor, probably mentally ill boy didn't have a semi-automatic or there would probably be fatalities (none as of this morning, but some are critically wounded)..

Yes - another random, unexplicable act of violence by a young male, in a school. There's that rage again, a feeling of total alienation that drives someone to lash out, intent on mindless destruction. Our generation just threw eggs at houses. Wonder if he was saturated with violent video games? I understand how terribly frustrating this whole situation is, but your highly militarized response is very sobering (I know you are speaking for many). I appreciate your passion.

Barry Soetero is an alleged minimalist, who manages to both detract and summarize, a person with troll-like tendencies who has terrific taste in t-shirts (alliteration!), and whose political persuasion probably swings to the right. Beyond that, I wouldn't know him from Adam, although he's planning a beer summit for this spring, which might provide you with an opportunity to quiz him on his knowledge of the Constitution!... better make it quick, since apparently the document is being shredded as we speak, a direct consequence of Mitt losing.

Barry Soetoro

Still waiting for my high-five for the NY Times link...

Lanivan

And was so ready to give one, but you rendered it moot by ignoring my attempt to get your attention by using the term - "it can not be overstated" - a second time in yet another pivotal comment from a day or two ago.

Wingmaster

What does lessthan always say....hiccup

Wingmaster

Lanny says....."I'll be the whipping 'boy' and say thank goodness this poor, probably mentally ill boy didn't have a semi-automatic or there would probably be fatalities"

This little punk found a way to hurt people. Pull your head out. This F'd up country has a problem with adults raising these little brats and turning them loose on society. We need two parent families and accountability for these little monsters before they turn into big monsters. I don't give a crap if this kid was picked on or mentally ill. You don't respond this way if you have been taught by responsible parents.

These kids get raised in a vacumn (always win, nobody loses) and when they get into situations where they don't always win they freak out. Liberal decay on display.

There that outta wind you centrist up.

By the way, if teachers had the ability to conceal carry this little puke would be the only one in the hospital possibly fighting for his life not innocent kids struggling with life time wounds.

Lanivan

You paint with a broad brushstroke, Wing. It'd be great if it was so simple - blame bad parenting and carry more guns. The fact is that the factors that weighed in on this kid to stab 20 people - some his friends - are far too complex to reduce it to such generalities. From what I'm reading so far, he lived with both parents and a brother, and most people interviewed seem shocked that this would happen to the family.

Having said that, you know I agree with you about the need for more responsible parenting, so if you think that's going to be a point of contention, you will be disappointed. Blaming a liberal society is another matter. Again, you turn to stereotypes to help make sense of what is senseless. Ours is an angry society. People are very quick to call sick youth "pukes", "monsters", "brats" (are you angry?). They want to address violence with more violence. It's not the answer - and it never will be. I've talked to many teacher/friends (not necessarily in this state), and they all say the same thing - they are not in the education profession to carry a loaded gun every day, they don't think it's the answer.

You might be interested in this: A list of school killings since the 1930's....http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/19/us...

Barry Soetoro

Interesting the kid who brought the case of dynamite to school in '59...and you said you just did eggs back then.

Lanivan

Barry - In '59 I was coloring eggs in dye and painting cute squiggly lines on them to get a Girl Scout badge, not throwing them. Please get your decades correct.

Wingmaster

So what has changed in society Lanny? We have more frequency of these events now. What is different? Is it something in the water? Is it in our food? Maybe its global..er climate change! Better yet, how did we handle things differently before?

Lanivan

We have had this conversation before, and you didn't like it then, but I'll take the bait. It is in our constantly increasing glorification of violence in our society through the media, the internet, our entertainment. It is in the sexualization of our youth, where society encourages (forces) children to want to grow up too quickly and adopt adult habits and attitudes before they are mentally developmentally ready. It is in the societal anger, rage, lack of critical thinking skills, the growth of income disparities that produces tremendous anxiety in young adults, especially young men. It's the pivot to extremism and a rejection of moderation in society in general.

It's a trend moving away from attitudes of service to others to self-absorption, and being stroked for actions that should not have to be rewarded. It's the turning to weapons and violent actions to relieve our deepest fears, anxieties, and hate. It's the stigma assigned to mental disabilities, and the evidence of increasing mental pathologies in our youth. It's a lack of discipline in households where parents shirk their duties in detecting and confronting early signs of substance abuse.

You'll notice I don't point fingers at Democrats or Republicans. It is folly to blame a political party/philosophy only for what has taken decades for society to incubate, and for which victims and perpetrators often have no political leanings one way or another.

Tri-cities realist

Sad that our state had the worst in the country, not that it really matters where they occur, all are senseless.

jenkem

This kid was so edgy that he was cutting people with the edge

Barry Soetoro

Nope. Try again.

Interestedreader

Geez,lighten up!

deepthink

It's a morally bankrupt world. Stop kidding yourself with the bad parenting and mental illness slant....evil really does exist. Write it on the calendar....this kind of behavior
will become more and more frequent.

AprilMayJune

Lanivan as usual offers the only light on the subject.

Mental illness is not addressed in this country to the extent that it could be. It is still considered something to be ashamed of and not treated like an illness that is biologically based. It is treated like a choice that someone has made. We are not trained to see the markers for it in our young people, perhaps because youth so often appear to be headed down the path of mental illness when they are simply acting out as teenagers, it can be hard to know the difference or impossible to know the difference.

The family that the young man came from is similar to many good families in this area.

This is a societal issue.

Kids these days.... lack physical activity, playing outdoors, getting into the woods. They are holed up with video games, internet use, constant entertainment by electronic babysitters really. There is a lot less face to face interaction. Children aren't learning how to communicate directly with their peers and others. There is a lot more alone time than there used to be, growing up. Isolation as it were.

We need more time off from work and vacation hours. Productivity in our marketplace takes precedence over family time! Look to Europe for some ideas.

owell

Yes, liberals are living with this uneducated, fantasy minded world. They do need help from their mental illness.

happycamper

I liked better in the day when you could take a punk out back and pound the crap out of him, no more questions asked,

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