UK & World News

  • 10 April 2014, 3:33

Student 'Flashing Knives' Stabs 22 At School

A 16-year-old boy stabbed 22 people in a bloody 30 minute rampage at a high school in Pennsylvania.

At least four students were seriously injured at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville when the student, who police said was "flashing two knives around", carried out the assault.

Thomas Seefeld, chief of police in the suburb 15 miles east of Pittsburgh, said the 16-year-old walked down a hallway and ended up stabbing 19 fellow pupils and security guard as they began arriving for what should have been a normal school day.

The assault began at 7.13am (1.13pm BST) and was over by 7.45am.

The school was locked down and students were kept inside while officials checked the premises was secure.

The suspect, Alex Hribal, was taken to hospital for treatment for a minor hand wound.

A motive has not been established, but authorities are investigating reports of a threatening phone call between the suspect and another student on Tuesday night.

Forbes Regional Hospital is treating eight of the victims. Doctor Mark Rubino said he expected everyone to survive, despite "deep penetrating" stab wounds.

Dan Stevens, a spokesman for Westmoreland County emergency management, said the teenage victims were aged 14 to 17. Mr Stevens said some of those injured suffered cuts and scrapes as they attempted to flee the scene.

Michael Float, a senior, had just arrived when he saw "blood all over the floor" and smeared on the wall near the main entrance.

Then he spotted a wounded student. "He had his shirt pulled up and he was screaming, 'Help! Help!'" he said.

"He had a stab wound right at the top right of his stomach, blood pouring down."

The 18-year-old said he knew who was suspect was, but said he did not know him personally. "I heard he's a very nice kid. I don't know what drove him to do it."

Morris Hundley said his 14-year-old daughter Morriah called him in tears. He rushed to the school still wearing his slippers, hoping for more information.

"My first thoughts were I think we need to home school now that this has happened. The words can't describe how I feel. I'm just thinking of the victims."

One Instagram user, who according to reports was one of the victims, posted a selfie while wearing hospital robes with the caption: "Chilling at Children's."

Along with details of the carnage, stories of bravery and quick-thinking have emerged.

Mr Seefeld praised staff, telling a news conference things could have been much worse "if there was not (the) immediate interaction that occurred".

He said someone, possibly a student, pulled a fire alarm after seeing some of the victims being stabbed.

Although Mr Seefeld said this created chaos, it also caused students to run out of the school to safety faster than they might have done otherwise.

The assistant principal involved in subduing the suspect has been named as Sam King. His son Zack told AP his father was treated at a hospital, though authorities said he did not suffer a knife wound.

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

A girl who was not wounded was also credited with likely keeping an injured schoolmate from bleeding to death.

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