Student victims in PA school stabbing expected to survive - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Student victims in PA high school stabbing expected to survive, officials say

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Students and faculty stand outside Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, PA, after a student stabbed several people inside. (Source: WTAE/CNN) Students and faculty stand outside Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, PA, after a student stabbed several people inside. (Source: WTAE/CNN)
A stabbing occurred inside a Murrysville, PA, high school Wednesday. (Source: WTAE/CNN) A stabbing occurred inside a Murrysville, PA, high school Wednesday. (Source: WTAE/CNN)
EMTs stand ready with hospital gurneys outside Franklin Regional High School, where a mass stabbing took place Wednesday. (Source: WTAE/CNN) EMTs stand ready with hospital gurneys outside Franklin Regional High School, where a mass stabbing took place Wednesday. (Source: WTAE/CNN)

MURRYSVILLE, PA (RNN) - Officials say the 21 students assaulted by a knife-wielding classmate on Wednesday at a suburban Pittsburgh high school will all survive, the Associated Press reports. 

Four students were seriously injured when the sophomore, identified by CNN as Alex Hribal, started stabbing and cutting fellow students as he moved through a hallway at Franklin Regional High School. The 16 year old, who was described as having a blank look, faces attempted murder and aggravated assault charges, the report said.

Hribal's lawyer says he was a good student, and asked for a psychiatric examination, according to an Associated Press report.  A prosecutor quoted the teen as saying he wanted to die, the report added.

A surgeon overseeing victims of the mass stabbing said he was "very hopeful" the most critical of his patients would survive.

Dr. Louis Alarcon, with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said a 17-year-old boy was on life support and would need additional surgery. The patient sustained a single stab wound to the left side of his torso with "a large knife of some sort."

"He's the most seriously injured patient that I'm aware of in the UPMC system," he said.

Five people - four teens and one adult - were released from UPMC, according to the Associated Press.

Hribal had at least two knives, officials said. He has been arrested and charged with four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault, according to the Associated Press. He will be prosecuted as an adult, the report said.

The stabbings happened inside classrooms and in the hallway. Law enforcement officials credited someone for pulling a fire alarm that helped with the school's evacuation.

"There are a number of heroes on this day. Many of them are students," said Gov. Tom Corbett, "students who stayed with their friends and did not leave their friends."

Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said it took only five minutes from when the emergency call came in to law enforcement for the suspect to be apprehended at the school. He said there were many victims when police arrived, and that there was blood in the hallways for about a 100-foot stretch.

Seefeld said Hribal was subdued by the school resource officer, who is also a member of the town's police department, and an assistant principal. Seefeld said the knives were 8 to 10 inches in length.

Seefeld also said police were looking into reports of a threatening phone call on Tuesday between the suspect and another student. However, no motive has been determined.

Dr. Chris Kaufmann, director of the trauma center at Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville, said seven teens in their care had life-threatening injuries. Kaufmann said injuries included stab wounds in the chest, abdomen and back areas.

In addition to the seven students that were victims, Forbes also received an adult older than 21 who was hurt in the incident, who authorities said was a security guard.

The school resource officer called in the incident at 7:13 a.m. ET. An aerial view showed hospital gurneys outside the school and more than a dozen emergency vehicles soon after the attack happened.

Law enforcement officials searched the school for any other possible threats, despite having a suspect detained.

Some students were moved to the gymnasium area, while middle school-aged students were bused home. The school district website stated a "critical incident" occurred at the school.

"All elementary schools are canceled, the middle school and high school students are secure," the message stated. "Additional information will be released as soon as possible. Please keep our campus clear of traffic."

Murrysville is located about 15 miles from Pittsburgh and has a population of more than 20,000.

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