A sophomore at Franklin Regional High School went on a five-minute stabbing spree at a Pennsylvania high school on Wednesday morning, wounding at least 22 people and leaving two in critical condition.
The suspect was immediately identified as Alex Hribal, 16, who used two 8-to-10 inch “kitchen-type” “straight” knives in his rampage, which started shortly after 7 a.m., police reports.
Local authorities claim that Hribal would be charged as an adult with four counts of attempted criminal homicide, 21 counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of weapons on school property. He’s currently kept in a juvenile detention center in Westmoreland County.
Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld told reporters that shortly after the spree bagan, the school officer, who stationed at the school at that moment, William “Buzz” Yakshe, used his radio to alert police about the incident.
“When we got there we saw a hallway in chaos, as you can imagine,” Seefeld said at a press conference this afternoon. “There was a lot of evidence of blood on the floors and in the hallway, we had students running about, trying to get out of the area.”
He went on, revealing that Franklin assistant principal Sam King tackled the suspect during the attack, and later the boy was handcuffed as police arrived at the school. Seefeld said the teen was treated for a minor hand wound.
Nate Moore, 15, appeared to be the victim of the terrible rampage and said he had to be treated with 15 stitches.
“It was really fast. It felt like he hit me with a wet rag because I felt the blood splash on my face. It spurted up on my forehead,” Moore said.
The motive for the incident is still under investigation. Seefeld reported that they had no warning signs from the suspect, a sophomore at the school.
Students who witnessed the stabbing described a chaotic and bloody scene.
“It was really fast. It felt like he hit me with a wet rag because I felt the blood splash on my face. It spurted up on my forehead,” victim Nate Moore, 15, told the AP. The attacker “had the same expression on his face that he has every day, which was the freakiest part,” Moore said. “He wasn’t saying anything. He didn’t have any anger on his face. It was just a blank expression.”
“I was walking into the school and a stampede of people were running after me,” a student who witnessed the stabbing told reporters. “They were screaming, ‘Go to your cars! Go to your cars! Someone is stabbing people!'”
“In a situation like this, you want the students to run,” Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said, noting that they did the right thing.
“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,” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said in a statement.