A sophomore boy walked into school today brandishing two knives and went on stabbing spree through the halls and classrooms of a High School right outside of Pittsburgh, Pa. At least 19 students and a security guard were hurt, some with life-threatening injuries. The suspect was in custody and being questioned by the police, according to Dan Stevens, a Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman.
The student was “flashing two knives around” as he moved through the classrooms and a first-floor hallway, said Thomas Seefeld, the Murrysville police chief. A principal tackled the stabber, he said. The security guard suffered a stomach wound.
“I was walking into the school and a stampede of people were running after me,” said the student, Kari Lee, who said several of her friends had been knifed. “They were screaming, ‘Go to your cars! Go to your cars! Someone is stabbing people!’”
Seven teenagers and an adult were taken to Forbes Regional Hospital, Dr. Chris Kauffman, the trauma director there, told NBC News.
The seven were stabbed in the chest, back and abdomen, he said. He characterized some of the injuries as life-threatening but said everyone was expected to live.
“None of these are superficial wounds,” he told reporters. “These are all significant stabbing wounds, every one.”
At least three students were in surgery. Others were undergoing CT scans and X-rays and could require surgery later, Dr. Kauffman said.
The high school has about 1,200 students. Murrysville, about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh, is a city of 21,000. Renatta Signorini, a reporter for the Tribune Review newspaper, told MSNBC that it is a city with low crime.
She said that the schools there do not have metal detectors but have been updating their security procedures. The police chief declined to comment on the school security measures.
Gov. Tom Corbett said that he was shocked and saddened. He said he had directed the Pennsylvania State Police to help and would make other state resources available.
Police said they do not yet have a motive behind the stabbing.