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Suspect Seen "Flashing Two Knives Around" Before Stabbing Spree

By: CBS Pittsburgh Email
By: CBS Pittsburgh Email

CBS News Copy

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. - A stabbing spree at a high school in the suburbs east of Pittsburgh left 20 people injured, four of them seriously, early Wednesday morning.

Murrysville police Chief Thomas Seefeld said the bloody crime scene at Franklin Regional High School, some 15 miles east of Pittsburgh, was "vast" and may take a couple days to process.

Police haven't named the suspect, who was taken into custody and driven from the police station in the back of a cruiser for treatment for a minor hand wound. Officials said he was seen "flashing two knives around" when the incident occurred.

Seefeld said 19 of the victims are students, and one of them is a school security guard, according to CBS Pittsburgh.

Investigators haven't determined a motive, but Seefeld said they're looking into reports of a threatening phone call between the suspect and another student the night before. Seefeld didn't specify whether the suspect reportedly received or made the call.

Emergency management spokesman Dan Stevens said four students were believed to be seriously injured when the suspect with a knife stabbed or slashed others.

Stevens said not all of the 20 injured were cut by the knife, though most were. Some suffered scrapes and cuts in the mayhem that ensued at Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday morning.

Stevens says it doesn't appear any students suffered life-threatening injuries.

Police say the 16-year-old male student suspect in custody is a sophomore at the high school.


Emergency responders gather in the parking lot of the high school on the campus of the Franklin Regional School District where several people were stabbed at Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. | AP PHOTO/KEITH SRAKOCIC

Jeff Dahlke, who works for the company that provides security for Franklin Regional High School, told CBS Pittsburgh that the suspect was armed with two knives.

"The alarm went off, and students started rushing outside, the security guard outside rushed in, and came upon his supervisor, and an assistant principal who had the suspect in custody on the ground and was trying to control him, and try to get the weapons away from him," Dahlke said.

The incident occurred around 7:13 a.m.

Three air medical helicopters have been dispatched to the scene as well as dozens of ambulances.

Two student victims were in critical condition, according to Dr. Mark Rubino of Forbes Regional Medical Center, the closest hospital to the school where eight victims were taken.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center treated a dozen patients. Officials said a 17-year-old boy and 14-year-old boy were in critical condition, a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy were in serious condition, and a 17-year-old boy and two 17-year-old girls were in fair condition. Five patients had been discharged, including three 15-year-old boys, a 16-year-old girl and an adult.

The CEO of Forbes Hospital told CBS Pittsburgh that one-student applied pressure to an injured classmate, possibly saving student's life.

According to a witness, the stabbings happened in the science wing of the building.

The police chief said someone, possibly a student, pulled a fire alarm after seeing some of the victims being stabbed. Although that created chaos, he said, it also resulted in students running out of the school to safety faster than they might have otherwise.

"The fire alarm being pulled probably assisted with the evacuation of the school and that was a good thing that that was done," Seefeld said.

Franklin Regional school district has canceled all elementary classes and say that high school and middle school students are secured.

The FBI is on the scene, involved in the evidence collection related to the mass stabbing. Federal officials tell CBS News that the local police department has the lead.


CBS Pittsburgh Copy

MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) – Police and paramedics are on the scene of a stabbing at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.

Dan Stevens with Westmoreland Emergency Management says 20-students have been injured, four of those are serious.

A school resource officer called in the stabbing at 7:13 a.m.

Forbes Hospital says 7 victims have been taken to their hospital, 1 victim has been flown to Allegheny General Hospital, and 2 taken to UPMC-Presby.

Forbes will have a press conference at 9 a.m.

Police say the male suspect is in custody, and is reportedly a student at the school.

Three air medical helicopters were dispatched to the scene as well as dozens of ambulances.

According to a witness, the stabbings happened in the science wing of the building.

“One of the children that pulled the alarm, my daughter said, after the incident happened to clear the school. She reported to me it was a 10th grade student,” parent Tim Graham told KDKA.

Franklin Regional school district has canceled all elementary classes and say that high school and middle school students are secured.

Franklin Regional High School posted this statement on their website:

A critical incident has occurred at the high school. All elementary schools are cancelled, 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.

Murrsville Police say all parents of students are to report to Heritage Elementary. Students will be transported there to be picked up.

Franklin Regional school district has canceled all elementary classes and say that high school and middle school students are secured.

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