A male sophomore described as “really shy”‘ went on a slashing and stabbing rampage Wednesday with two kitchen knives at a Murrysville, Pa., high school, injuring 19 students and a security guard before he was subdued and handcuffed, police said.
At least 12 people were hospitalized with serious injuries, many with deep puncture wounds to the abdomen, hospital officials said.
Doctors said a 17-year-old male student was in critical condition after being stabbed in his liver, diaphragm and major blood vessels, but that the blade missed his heart and aorta during the attack.
Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said the suspect, who is in custody, was being treated for injuries to his hand. The 16-year-old sophomore was tackled by Assistant Principal Sam King and handcuffed by a security guard, he said.
The guard was stabbed in the stomach during the ordeal, but was treated and released from the hospital, police and hospital officials confirmed.
Seefeld said a fire alarm triggered during the incident at Franklin Regional High School prompted students to flee the building, likely keeping down the number of victims. The attack in classrooms and a hallway occurred shortly after 7 a.m., before classes began.
Sophomore Trinity McCool told USA TODAY that the suspect, after attacking several other people nearby, took a swipe at her and a friend with what looked like a butcher knife.
“I saw his face, the look in his eyes, I was horrified,” she said.
Another student, Nate Scimio, blocked the attack, however, by sticking out his arm as the blade came down.
“(Nate) took the stab right in his arm and saved my friend and me,” McCool said. “I’m pretty sure it was his instinct. He didn’t want anyone to get hurt. He told everybody to run away.”
McCool said Scimio also apparently set off the fire alarm that sent students rushing to the exits. Scimio later tweeted a selfie from the hospital showing his right arm in a bandage.
Mia Meixner, a sophomore, told USA TODAY that she was putting her books away near the cafeteria when she heard a commotion and saw the male suspect “stabbing people on top of a freshman.”
She said the suspect “just got up and ran away really fast.” Meixner identified the suspect, but USA TODAY is withholding his name from publication.
“The freshman stood up, lifted up his shirt and he was gushing blood,” Meixner said. “I also saw a senior girl … and she was gushing blood down her arm.”
SOURCE: Doug Stanglin, Marisol Bello and Alicia McElhaney