MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A 16-year-old boy "was flashing two knives around" when he injured 19 students and a school police officer who eventually subdued him with the help of an assistant principal at a high school near Pittsburgh on Wednesday, a police chief said.
Murrysville police Chief Thomas Seefeld said the bloody crime scene at Franklin Regional High School, some 15 miles east of Pittsburgh, was "vast" and may take a couple days to process.
Police haven't named the suspect, who was taken into custody and 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.
Twelve other victims were taken to four other hospitals affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Two of them, a 17-year-old male and a 14-year-old male, were in critical condition, two other students were in serious condition, and the others were either in fair or better condition or had been released. The school police officer was treated and released for superficial wounds, according to UPMC officials.
Seefeld wouldn't detail the carnage beyond saying, "The juvenile went down the hallway and was flashing two knives around and injured the people."
The chief said someone, possibly a student, pulled a fire alarm after seeing some of the victims being stabbed. Although that created chaos, he said, it also resulted in students running out of the school to safety faster than they might have otherwise.
"The fire alarm being pulled probably assisted with the evacuation of the school and that was a good thing that that was done," Seefeld said.