Motive for Pennsylvania High School Mass Stabbing Remains a Mystery

Suspect described as shy but had no history of violence.

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. – The student responsible for Wednesday’s mass stabbing at Franklin Regional High School has been identified as sophomore Alex Hribal, 16.

Additionally, the number of victims has increased to 22. One of the victims was a campus security officer.

USA Today is reporting that the suspect was “really shy,” and CNN is reporting that he was a “typical young kind” who has “never been in trouble.” Currently there is no indication that Hribal was bullied, and one or two of his victims may have been his friends. Authorities have still not determined his motive for the attack.

The incident occurred just after the start of the school day and lasted for about 5 minutes until Hribal was tackled by school Assistant Principal Sam King and then handcuffed by Murrysville Police Officer William “Buzz” Yakshe, reports ABC News. The boy was in possession of two kitchen knives.

About 10 victims sustained serious injuries and were treated at area hospitals. Although most of the victims were injured by Hribal’s weapons, some suffered scrapes and cuts as a result of the mayhem during the attack, reports Yahoo. The victims ranged in age from 15 to 60.

Several news sources are reporting acts of heroism, including a female student saving the life of another classmate by applying pressure to the victim’s wounds. Other students were stabbed after stepping in front of their classmates to protect them from the attacker. A fire alarm pulled by a student during the incident prompted the evacuation of the campus and may have reduced the number of victims.

Hribal will most likely be tried as an adult, said Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld in a press conference.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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