MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) – At least 20 people have been injured in a stabbing at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.
Murrysville police Chief Thomas Seefeld says 19-of the victims are students, one of them is a school security guard.
A school security guard called in the stabbing at 7:13 a.m.
Seefeld wouldn't detail the carnage beyond saying, "The juvenile went down the hallway and was flashing two knives around and injured the people."
Police say the 16-year-old male student suspect is in custody and is a sophomore at the high school.
He was transported from the Murrysville Police Department by police car, and reportedly taken to a local hospital for superficial wounds, and then returned.
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.
Jeff Dahlke with the security company who provides security for Franklin Regional High School says the suspect was armed with two knives.
"The alarm went off, and students started rushing outside, the security guard outside rushed in, and came upon his supervisor, and a vice principal who had the suspect in custody on the ground and was trying to control him, and try to get the weapons away from him," Dahlke said.
Police say that security guard was stabbed in the abdomen.
Two student victims were in critical condition, according to Dr. Mark Rubino of Forbes Regional Medical Center.
The CEO of Forbes Hospital tells KDKA's Heather Abraham that one-student applied pressure to an injured classmate, possibly saving student's life.
Several local hospitals report patients were taken to their hospitals. Here is the breakdown of victims.
–8 at Forbes Regional Hospital
–5 at UPMC East
–4 at UPMC Children's Hospital
–1 at UPMC Mercy
–1 at UPMC Presby
–1 at Allegheny General Hospital
Hospital officials say patients range from 15-to-60-years old.
UPMC Presby says the 17-year-old male student they have there is in critical condition with chest and abdominal injuries.
According to a witness, the stabbings happened in the science wing of the building.
"One of the students pulled the alarm, my daughter said, after the incident happened to clear the school. She reported to me it was a 10th grade student," parent Tim Graham told KDKA.
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.
Several students tell us that Franklin Regional student Nate Scimio pulled the fire alarm and was stabbed.
Scimio posted this photo on his Instagram account showing him at Children's Hospital with a stab wound to the arm.
Franklin Regional School District says the high school will be closed for the next few days, but the middle school and elementary school will be open tomorrow.
Westmoreland County Public Safety spokesman Dan Stevens said, "We haven't lost a life. That's what we have to keep in mind."
Governor Tom Corbett issued a statement that reads:
"I was shocked and saddened upon learning of the events that occurred this morning as students arrived at Franklin Regional High School. 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."