While mass knife attacks have become increasingly common in China, see here, here, and here, they’re completely uncommon in the U.S. That’s why this morning’s mass knife attack Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, PA, about 15 miles from Pittsburgh, is particularly shocking.
A single 16 year old boy went on a rampage this morning in which 20 individuals were stabbed, some extremely seriously, before the suspect could be taken into custody by police. Here’s what’s currently known.
1. A 16 Year Old Student Was Taken Into Custody
The above student was taken into custody. No motive has been attributed to the attacks as of yet. One student stated that they heard alarms for a fire drill followed by screams from what were apparently the perpetrator attacking students. That fire drill may have been pulled by the below student who reportedly did so to alert the school that something was wrong.
2. 19 Of The 20 Stabbed Were Students
One was an adult, believed to be a teacher. It’s unclear whether the teacher was a purposeful target of the attacks or whether they were injured defending students or simply trying to get away. I imagine that a lot of personal stories will come out of this but as of now it’s difficult to tell. What we do know is that the attacks began at circa 7:20 am and the school went into lock-down soon after.
Knife injuries can be every bit as dangerous as gunshot wounds, sometimes more so depending on the location of the wound and the depth.
3. At Least 7 Of The Injuries Are Considered Life Threatening
Reports vary but seem to mostly indicate the number of life threatening injuries was at 7. Several were helicoptered from the scene suffering from knife wounds to the abdomen, back, and stomach. Several were being operated on at Forbes Hospital at the time of this writing.
4. The School Principal Apparently Led Police To The Attacker’s Location
This is according to Pittsburgh Station WTAE. Police apparently tackled the suspect and then brought him into custody.
5. There Is No Explanation As To Why No One Stopped This
20 people is a lot of people to stab. There’s no indication as to why the suspect wasn’t apprehended simply with overwhelming numbers, where school security was or even if there is a school security guard (UPDATE: apparently the only adult stabbed was the school security guard). Police were apparently able to apprehend the suspect quickly upon their arrival but there’s no indication that anyone sought to stop the suspect during the act. Regardless, student’s described an extremely chaotic scene.
“I was walking into the school and a stampede of people were running after me,” said Kari Lee. “They were screaming, ‘Go to your cars! Go to your cars! Someone is stabbing people!
Below is CNN’s roundup of the event.