Multiple people stabbed at western Pennsylvania high school

Murrysville police Chief Thomas Seefeld said the bloody crime scene at Franklin Regional High School, some 15 miles east of Pittsburgh, was "vast" and may take a couple days to process.

(Courtesy: KDKA)

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (CBS) - A stabbing spree at a high school in the suburbs east of Pittsburgh left 20 people injured, four of them seriously, early Wednesday morning.

Murrysville police Chief Thomas Seefeld said the bloody crime scene at Franklin Regional High School, some 15 miles east of Pittsburgh, was "vast" and may take a couple days to process.

Police haven't named the suspect, who was taken into custody and driven from the police station in the back of a cruiser for treatment for a minor hand wound. Officials said he was seen "flashing two knives around" when the incident occurred.

Seefeld said 19 of the victims are students, and one of them is a school security guard, according to CBS Pittsburgh.

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.

Emergency management spokesman Dan Stevens said four students were believed to be seriously injured when the suspect with a knife stabbed or slashed others.

Stevens said not all of the 20 injured were cut by the knife, though most were. Some suffered scrapes and cuts in the mayhem that ensued at Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday morning. Stevens says it doesn't appear any students suffered life-threatening injuries.

Police say the 16-year-old male student suspect in custody is a sophomore at the high school.

Jeff Dahlke, who works for the company that provides security for Franklin Regional High School, told CBS Pittsburgh that 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 an assistant 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.

The incident occurred around 7:13 a.m.

Three air medical helicopters have been dispatched to the scene as well as dozens of ambulances.

Two student victims were in critical condition, according to Dr. Mark Rubino of Forbes Regional Medical Center, the closest hospital to the school where eight victims were taken.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center treated a dozen patients. Officials said a 17-year-old boy and 14-year-old boy were in critical condition, a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy were in serious condition, and a 17-year-old boy and two 17-year-old girls were in fair condition. Five patients had been discharged, including three 15-year-old boys, a 16-year-old girl and an adult.

The CEO of Forbes Hospital told CBS Pittsburgh that one-student applied pressure to an injured classmate, possibly saving student's life.

According to a witness, the stabbings happened in the science wing of the building.

The police 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.

Franklin Regional school district has canceled all elementary classes and say that high school and middle school students are secured.

The FBI is on the scene, involved in the evidence collection related to the mass stabbing. Federal officials tell CBS News that the local police department has the lead.


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