Pennsylvania School Evacuated; 3 Students Stabbed
READING, Pa. – A junior/senior high school was evacuated after an angry 13-year-old male student, who was holding a canister of propane, was confronted by school administrators on the morning of Jan. 9 after stabbing three of his peers.
At 8:15 a.m., the attacker walked into a first period English class at Antietam Middle-Senior High School, dressed in a trench coat and listening to his MP3 player, police said. He flipped over desks, lit firecrackers and threw books around the classroom. He grabbed a 16-year-old girl, threw her to the ground and began assaulting her with a steak knife. Students immediately came to her aid and then disarmed the attacker. He also stabbed two other students in the process.
Fourteen-year-old Tim Hauck, a friend of the attacker, said he asked the boy why he would want to hurt his friend. In response, the boy said that he was not going to hurt Hauck. Hauck then ran out of the classroom and yelled for help.
As the suspect escaped from the classroom, Principal James Snyder and a teacher ran into the boy and talked to him for 15 minutes. Another teacher walked up behind the student and hit his arm, causing the boy to drop the canister of propane from his hand, when it appeared that the boy was not going to surrender.
Police said the student took two bags with him to school that contained a torch, knives, a small can of gasoline, firecrackers and a water bottle filled with torch fluid.
Some students who were unaware of the attack were shocked the school had to be evacuated. Most thought the call for evacuation was a drill until they saw police cars outside of the school.
School officials were shocked at the boy’s behavior, stating that he was not a known troublemaker at the school. Students, on the other hand, said he often wore a trench coat and had a small group of friends. Most people ridiculed the boy because he made fun of them.
The suspect’s name has not been confirmed by police. He is being held at Berks County Juvenile Detention Center while he awaits trial. He faces aggravated assault and other charges.
The three students were taken to Reading Hospital for treatment. The 16-year-old was treated for cuts on both of her hands. A 15-year-old girl had a small wound in her upper back and a 14-year-old boy had a small wound to his upper right arm. All three have been released.
Police are praising the students who jumped in to stop the attacker, adding that it was very admirable of them.
On Jan. 10, only one entrance was open at the school guarded by police officers. Each student was searched with a handheld metal detector.