Stabbing spree at school
Update -- 11:45 a.m.
A 16-year-old armed with two knives went on a stabbing and slashing spree at a high school near Pittsburgh on Wednesday, leaving as many as 20 people injured, including a school police officer who eventually subdued the boy with the help of an assistant principal, police said.
Of the 19 students injured, four suffered serious wounds, but all were expected to survive, hospital officials said. The injured officer was discharged.
Murrysville police Chief Thomas Seefeld said the bloody crime scene at Franklin Regional High School, some 24 kilometres east of Pittsburgh, was "vast" and may take a couple days to process.
Police haven't named the suspect, who was taken into custody for questioning and later driven from the police station in the back of a cruiser for treatment for a minor hand wound.
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.
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 UPMC patients had been discharged, including three 15-year-old boys, a 16-year-old girl and an adult.
Several people were stabbed Wednesday morning at a high school near Pittsburgh, and a suspect was taken into custody, an emergency official said.
Dan Stevens, the spokesman for Westmoreland County emergency management, said five or six people were reported stabbed at about 7:20 a.m. at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, about 15 miles east of Pittsburgh.
It wasn't immediately clear if the suspect and the victims are students, adults or a mix of both. It doesn't appear that any of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries, Stevens said, though several helicopters were seen flying people from the scene to area hospitals.
School officials and Murrysville police didn't immediately return calls seeking further details, but the school issued a bulletin on its website saying: "A critical incident has occurred at the high school. All elementary schools are canceled, the middle school and high school students are secure."
The district serves about 3,600 students who live in the bedroom communities of Murrysville, Export and Delmont. The elementary and middle schools are part of the same campus.
The high school was on lockdown, and students were being kept there as a precaution as school and law enforcement officials double-checked the premises. School officials were making arrangements to bus the middle school students home.
District Attorney John Peck said he was monitoring the situation. Detectives from his office were also investigating, though Peck said he had no information beyond that being reported by Pittsburgh television news stations.
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