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20 injured, some critical, in Westmoreland Co. school stabbing

By: WJAC Web Staff and The Associated Press

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. -- Police officials said a 16-year-old boy "was flashing two knives around" when he injured 19 students and a school security officer during a stabbing incident at a Westmoreland County high school Wednesday morning.

Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said the unnamed 16-year-old sophomore walked through Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, stabbing and cutting people at about 7:15 a.m. before classes began.

Police said 19 students were injured, with injuries stemming from critical to minor. One adult, the school security officer, was injured and was able to subdue the 16-year-old boy with the help of an assistant principal.

Not all of the injured suffered stab wounds, some suffered cuts and scrapes while the situation developed and students tried to evacuate the building, police said.

Of the 19 students who were injured, seven were transported to nearby Forbes Regional Hospital. The other 12 students were taken to UPMC hospital facilities.

Dr. Chris Kaufman, of Forbes Regional, said some of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries, but expected all victims at his hospital to survive. He said four of the victims sent to Forbes Regional were the most seriously injured.

UPMC officials released patient updates on Twitter. Of the 12 victims sent to their facilities, five were treated and released.

UPMC officials said a 17-year-old girl was being treated for facial injuries at UPMC East in Monroeville and was in fair condition.

Five victims, a 14-year-old boy in critical condition, a 17-year-old boy in serious condition, a 16-year-old boy in serious condition, a 17-year-old boy in fair condition and a 17-year-old female in fair condition were being treated at UPMC Children's Hospital, officials said.

UPMC officials said a 17-year-old boy was being treated for chest and abdominal injuries at UPMC Presbyterian and was in critical condition.

Seefeld said the bloody crime scene was "vast" and may take a couple of days to process. Investigators haven't determined a motive but said they're looking into reports of a threatening phone call between the suspect and another student the night before.

Franklin Regional Superintendent Gennaro Piraino said the school building was expected to be closed for the next several days.

Gov. Tom Corbett issued a statement following the morning's incident. He pledged state police assistance to local law enforcement in investigating the incident.

"I was shocked and saddened upon learning of the events that occurred this morning as students arrived at Franklin Regional High School," Corbett 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."

Murrysville is about 15 miles east of Pittsburgh, or 45 miles west of Johnstown.

6 News reporter Kerri Corrado is in Murrysville and will have continuing coverage of this big story throughout the day.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times