Photo of alleged attacker, Alex Hribal, courtesy of NBC News.
A mass stabbing, conducted by a teenage boy carrying two kitchen knives, left 20 students and a security officer injured at Franklin Regional High School, located just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, April 9. Four of those students were still in critical condition as of Sunday night.
The assault began around 7:15 a.m. and lasted for about five minutes. The attack ended when the Assistant Principal, Sam King, tackled the accused suspect, 16-year-old Alex Hribal, and held him down before a school resource officer handcuffed him.
The attack began in a crowded hallway and then from classroom to classroom before classes started. Students began to run outside in a panic, and someone pulled the fire alarm to help evacuate the school.
According to CNN, the teachers asked the students for hoodies to stop the bleeding. Many students acted as heroes during this critical time and helped their fellow classmates by escorting them out of the building and applying pressure to the wounds.
A doctor who treated several of the patients said that at first they didn’t know they had been stabbed. “They just felt pain and noticed they were bleeding,” said Dr. Timothy VanFleet, chief of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
The teachers returned to the high school on Monday, and students are scheduled to officially return on Wednesday. The students will have a chance to walk through the halls of the school with their families on Tuesday, the school said. A prayer service will be held before the opening bell at 6:30a.m. on Wednesday. In addition to extra security, there will also be counseling offered to all of the students and staff.
Photo of police, outside of the Hribal’s house, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Investigators are still unsure of why Alex Hribal may have randomly knifed the students and one security guard. “Something went wrong, somewhere,” defense attorney Patrick Thomassey said on Saturday night. Hribal doesn’t have a history of mental illness and has never mentioned being bullied. A psychiatrist, according to Thomassey, will examine Hribal. Thomassey plans to file a motion to move the case to juvenile court.
Hribal was arranged as an adult and is being held without bail at the Westmoreland County juvenile detention center on four counts of attempted homicide, 21 counts of aggravated assault and a misdemeanor count of carrying a prohibited weapon on school grounds.
“He’s upset. He knows he’s in a world of stuff right now, and how serious it is now. You know, he can’t believe he did this, to tell you the truth,” said Thomassey.