At 7:13 a.m. Wednesday at the Franklin Regional Senior High School near Pittsburgh, twenty students were injured in a mass stabbing as they headed to class. According to officials, the 16-year-old male suspect, went to the school armed with two knives. He went on a stabbing rampage before he was tackled by the assistant principal and security guard William "Buzz" Yakshe.
The unidentified suspect is now in custody. “We don’t know what led up to this,” said Murrysville police chief Thomas Seefeld.
One female student told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “I saw this kid in all black running down the hallway, stabbing. He was just stabbing everybody that was in his way.”
As for the victims, not all 20 were injured by stabbing but the majority were. Seven teens as well as one adult ranging in age from 15 to 60 are at Forbes Hospital, with wounds going from the superficial to serious, a hospital spokeswoman said. A ninth victim, age 15, was released from Allegheny Hospital after treatment. Security guard Yakshe is "doing fine," according to the local department of safety. "He's more upset than anything else over what happened because these are his kids."
The school district, which has about 3,600 students from Murrysville, Export, and Delmont, issued a bulletin on its website shortly after the incident saying: “A critical incident has occurred at the high school. All elementary schools are canceled, the middle school and high school students are secure. Additional information will be released as soon as possible. Please keep our campus clear of traffic.” Meanwhile, the high school went on lockdown until police could check the grounds.
Pennsylania Governor Tom Corbett said in a statement, “I was shocked and saddened upon learning of the events that occurred this morning as students arrived at Franklin Regional High School. As a parent and grandparent, I can think of nothing more distressing than senseless violence against children. My heart and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.”
According to the school director Roberta Cook, the district has done training for mass casualty events, however most have focused on active shooters, not somebody wielding a knife.
However, as in most of these events, there were heroes. As mentioned before, the school’s principal reportedly tackled the suspect. And one victim, Nate Scimio, seen tweeting a selfie from the hospital, was the one who pulled the fire alarm and screamed when he was stabbed to save others.
A female student told USA Today that the suspect, who she described as “really shy” and “always kept to himself” wasn’t targeting anybody in particular.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reportedly been called in to question the suspect. While rare, mass stabbing attacks do occur in the U.S. Nearly a year ago to the day, 14 people were wounded at Lone Star Community College in Texas after a man went from building to building stabbing people.
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