A 16-year-old student wielding two knives went on a stabbing rampage in the hallways of a Pittsburgh-area high school on Wednesday, wounding 22 people before he was tackled by an assistant principal, officials said.
The attacker moved furtively through the halls of Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, stabbing his victims in the torso, and slashing their arms and faces, students and officials said. Some of the injured taken to nearby hospitals were listed in critical condition.
Alex Hribal, a 16-year-old sophomore, was taken into custody, Murrysville Police Captain Rob Liermann said.
Photo: Reuters / WPXI-TV
Charged as an adult, Hribal faces four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault, Liermann said, and was ordered to face a preliminary hearing in seven to 10 days.
Students described a scene of panic, with the school hastily evacuated after a fire alarm was pulled.
“He did it so stealthily that at first no one knew what was happening,” freshman Josh Frank said. “We heard a girl scream bloody murder. Then two seniors were running down the hall and we followed them out of the school.”
The attacker, described by a classmate as a quiet boy who kept to himself, began the stabbings at about 7:13am, walking along the hallways to several classrooms at the school in Murrysville, 32km east of Pittsburgh, officials said.
Assistant Principal Sam King tackled the boy, who was armed with two straight knives about 20 to 25cm long, and an armed security officer handcuffed him with help from King, Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said.
Twenty-one students and a security officer were stabbed in the incident, said Dan Stevens, a spokesman for Westmoreland County emergency management.
Two other students suffered minor injuries trying to get out of the school, Stevens added.
He said the teenage suspect was not counted among the wounded.
The suspect was also being treated for injuries to his hands, Seefeld said.
By late afternoon, he said, one or two of the victims were “still pretty critical.”
The victims, most of them 14 to 17 years old, were transported to area hospitals, four by medical helicopters. Several had life-threatening injuries, hospital officials said.
Louis Alarcon of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center operated on a 17-year-old student and said he had “a large injury to his abdominal wall.”
The knife “went through his liver, diaphragm and major blood vessels,” he said. “Fortunately for this young man, the knife missed his heart and his aorta.”
Police and the FBI were searching the suspect’s home, situated at the end of a quiet cul de sac.
Neighbors said both parents work and the teen has a brother who also attends Franklin Regional High School.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said he had ordered state police to help local law enforcement respond to the incident. The FBI also said it had deployed agents to work with local officials.
The high school was to be closed for two to three days while police conduct an investigation.
‘LIKE A CASSANDRA’: Chinese residents of Prato went into self-imposed lockdown and warned their Italian neighbors about what was coming, but were ignored In the storm of infection and death sweeping Italy, one big community stands out to health officials as remarkably unscathed — the 50,000 ethnic Chinese who live in the town of Prato. Two months ago, the country’s Chinese residents were the target of what Amnesty International described as shameful discrimination, the butt of insults and violent attacks by people who feared that they would spread the coronavirus through Italy. However, in the Tuscan town of Prato, home to Italy’s single biggest Chinese community, the opposite has been true. Once scapegoats, they are now held up by authorities as a model for early,
Reporters Without Borders has accused the Algerian government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to “settle scores” with independent journalists, including those covering long-running anti-government protests. In a statement signed with Algerian non-governmental organizations, the watchdog on Thursday called for the immediate release of its correspondent, Khaled Drareni, who has been in pretrial detention since Sunday after being charged with inciting an unarmed gathering and endangering national unity. Drareni has been arrested several times for covering the “Hirak” anti-government protests held in the capital, Algiers, every Friday since February last year. Imprisoning people during a pandemic is “an act of physical endangerment,”
Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat that it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on a government Web site yesterday. All of the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels
DIVIDED YOUTH: There is a belief that overseas students see themselves as superior, which is compounded by perceptions of their extreme wealth and multiple nationalities Chinese students flying home from overseas to escape the COVID-19 pandemic face a frosty reception from sections of the public who view them as wealthy, spoiled — and potentially contaminated. The number of officially reported cases in China has dwindled dramatically over the last month, but the country is now taking drastic steps to try and stem a second wave of infections brought in from abroad. With most international flights canceled and nearly all foreigners barred from entering the country, the vast majority of returnees are Chinese nationals, including many students. The situation has exposed animosities over class and privilege in Chinese society,