Early Wednesday morning, a teenage boy used two kitchen knives to go on a stabbing rampage at his high school in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, according to CNN. The boy, identified as Alex Hribal, 16, was finally stopped by an assistant principal.
He wounded 22 students and a security officer at Franklin Regional Senior High School, according to Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck. Hribal has been arraigned as an adult and faces four counts of attempted homicide, 21 counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a weapon on school grounds.
“I’m not sure he knows what he did, quite frankly,” Hribal’s attorney, Patrick Thomassey, said. “…We have to make sure that he understands the nature of the charges and what’s going on here. It’s important that he be examined by a psychiatrist and determined where he is mentally.”
Dr. Timothy VanFleet, a doctor who treated six victims, said that many did not know they were stabbed.
“They just felt pain and noticed they were bleeding,” Dr. VanFleet said. VanFleet is the chief of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Almost all of them said they didn’t see anyone coming at them. It apparently was a crowded hallway and they were going about their business, and then just felt pain and started bleeding.”
Hribal is at the Westmoreland County juvenile detention center and being held without bail. Officers would not offer a motive for the attack, but said Hribal made “statements when subdued by officials that he wanted to die.”
The incident occurred right before the start of classes on Wednesday morning. He began stabbing students in the hallway and then moved from classroom to classroom.
Emergency calls of the incident were released to the media, with one officer heard saying, “I don’t know what I got going down at school here but I need some units here ASAP.”
Another 911 call said, “Be advised inside the school we have multiple stab victims. So bring in EMS from wherever you can get them.”
One student, Mia Meixner, witnessed a portion of the attack while at her locker.
“I heard a big commotion like behind my back. And I turned around and I saw two kids on the ground. I saw the kid who was stabbing people get up and run away,” she said.
Meixner said she saw a girl she knew standing close to the cafeteria. “She was gushing blood down her arm.”
Meixner put down her books and went over to help her.
“I started hearing a stampede of students coming down from the other end of the hall, saying ‘Get out, we need to leave, go, there’s a kid with a knife.’ Then a teacher came over to me and the girl I was trying to help. And she said she would handle the girl and that I should run out. So then I just ran out of the school and tried to get out as soon as possible.”
In what is a very chilling account of the attacker, Meixner said she never heard Hribal say anything.
“He was very quiet. He just was kind of doing it,” she said. “And he had this, like, look on his face that he was just crazy and he was just running around just stabbing whoever was in his way.”
Meixner said she did not know Hribal, but that he was in her classes. “He kept to himself a lot. He didn’t have that many friends that I know of, but I also don’t know of him getting bullied that much. I actually never heard of him getting bullied. He just was kind of shy and didn’t talk to many people.”