A Pennsylvania student at a Pittsburgh-area high school injured twenty people when they went on a stabbing rampage early Wednesday, with four victims flown to area hospitals, officials said.
The suspected student, a 16-year-old at the school, was in police custody, Dan Stevens, deputy emergency management coordinator for the Westmoreland County, told reporters.
The attacks took place in several classrooms and hallways as the school day began at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, 20 miles east of Pittsburgh, county emergency management officials said. The first 911 call was received at 7:13 a.m. EST, they said.
Seven teens and one adult were admitted at the Forbes Regional Hospital, the hospital’s director of trauma, Chris Kauffman, told reporters.
“These are significant injuries,” Kauffman said, noting that two patients were undergoing surgery and a third was going to the operating room.
“It’s important that parents realize the scene is contained, the students that are here are safe,” Stevens told reporters.
It is still unclear how many students were stabbed and how many might have been injured when attempting to flee from the attacker. The suspect was described as carrying two knives at the same time while attacking.
The school district posted an emergency message on its website Wednesday, describing the incident that took place.
“A critical incident has occurred at the high school,” the message said. “All elementary schools are canceled, the middle school and high school students are secure.”
A line of school buses gathered outside the school on Wednesday morning to take students to another elementary school close by to be reunited with their families.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett released a statement on the stabbing Wednesday morning.
“I was shocked and saddened upon learning of the events that occurred this morning as students arrived at Franklin Regional High School,” the statement said. As a parent and grandparent, I can think of nothing more distressing than senseless violence against children. My heart and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.”
“I have directed the Pennsylvania State Police to assist local law enforcement in its investigation in any way possible. Other state resources will be made available to the community, if needed. I assure the citizens of Murrysville that they have the full support of my administration.”