Pennsylvania officials sought a motive on Thursday for a stabbing rampage at a high school after a 16-year-old student was accused of wielding two knives and wounding nearly two dozen people. The attacker stalked through Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville near Pittsburgh on Wednesday, stabbing victims in the torso and slashing their arms and faces before being tackled by an assistant principal.

Murrysville Police Department Captain Rob Liermann said 16-year-old sophomore Alex Hribal was taken into custody and charged with attempted homicide. He had had no psychiatric or disciplinary problems, and his family described him as a good student who mingled well with others. “His parents are devastated and send their condolences to everybody involved,” Thomassey said. “They can’t figure it out.”

While the United States has seen a series of large-scale shootings in public places in recent years, including schools, movie theaters and shopping areas, mass stabbings are less common. Police and the FBI on Wednesday searched the suspect’s home. Neighbors said both parents work, and the teen has a brother who also attends Franklin Regional High School. A classmate described Hribal as a quiet loner.

The high school will be closed for the next two to three days while police conduct an investigation. The victims were aged mostly 14 to 17 years.  Several had life-threatening injuries. Twenty-one students and a security officer were stabbed in the incident stated a spokesman for Westmoreland County emergency management. One 17-year-old was left severely injured after a knife passed through the liver, diaphragm and major blood vessels, though it missed his heart and his aorta. On Wednesday evening community members held candle-light vigils for the wounded.

Hribal faces four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault, police said.  He was ordered to face a preliminary hearing in seven to 10 days.

A 17-year-old boy was the most seriously injured, The Los Angeles Times reported, with a single 4-centimeter stab wound that reached through to his spine, a hospital spokesperson said. The boy was speaking when he arrived at the hospital and has undergone surgery to stop the bleeding, she said. He will undergo more surgeries in the days ahead.

The attacker used two large knives described as “kitchen” type knives that had 10 inch and longer blades.

So much has been presented on media sources that school violence will somehow disappear with stricter gun laws, better background checks for mental illness, and the ban of “assault” type weapons. This answers the question that if someone desires to harm another person, they will find a way and use whatever means to accomplish that goal. This was not just a fluke. This individual decided to use what was available to him, to inflict the most damage to those people he saw as the enemy. Much like the many violent video games that parents let their children play. When in reality, nothing will reduce the violence in our schools and our communities until we address and deal with the high level of bullying that is going on, and also the total disconnect that many of our young adults have with each other. There is a total disregard for other people, their property, and a lack of moral behavior.

We have raised a generation of children with no discipline, no rules, and no accountability; and this is the result. No empathy or compassion for others. It is all about me and what can I do to fix this problem…no matter what.

 

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