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Police: Teen stabs 22 at Pittsburgh-area high school

  • A man and woman walk away from Franklin Regional High School after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry)  PITTSBURGH OUT

    A man and woman walk away from Franklin Regional High School after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry) PITTSBURGH OUT

  • Parents and students embrace along School Road near Franklin Regional High School after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp)  PITTSBURGH OUT

    Parents and students embrace along School Road near Franklin Regional High School after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp) PITTSBURGH OUT

  • A police officer guards the entrance Heritage Elementary School as students are dismissed after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp)  PITTSBURGH OUT

    A police officer guards the entrance Heritage Elementary School as students are dismissed after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp) PITTSBURGH OUT

  • Students walk past a row of buses as they leave the campus of the Franklin Regional School District after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

    Students walk past a row of buses as they leave the campus of the Franklin Regional School District after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Students are escorted from the campus of the Franklin Regional School District after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

    Students are escorted from the campus of the Franklin Regional School District after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman Dan Stevens, left, looks on as Franklin Regional School District Superintendent Gennaro Piraino pauses while addressing the media during a news conference outside of Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh.  More than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry)  PITTSBURGH OUT

    Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman Dan Stevens, left, looks on as Franklin Regional School District Superintendent Gennaro Piraino pauses while addressing the media during a news conference outside of Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. More than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry) PITTSBURGH OUT

  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC chief medical officer Dr. Steve Docimo, left, and UPMC Presbyterian medical director of tram and surgery Dr. Louis Alarcon, update the media on Franklin Regional High School stabbing victims condition during a news conference in Lawrenceville, Pa. Wednesday, April 9, 2014. A 16-year-old armed with two knives went on a stabbing and slashing spree at the high school near Pittsburgh on Wednesday, leaving 20 people injured, including a school police officer who eventually subdued him with the help of an assistant principal, authorities said. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Jasmine Goldband)  PITTSBURGH OUT

    Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC chief medical officer Dr. Steve Docimo, left, and UPMC Presbyterian medical director of tram and surgery Dr. Louis Alarcon, update the media on Franklin Regional High School stabbing victims condition during a news conference in Lawrenceville, Pa. Wednesday, April 9, 2014. A 16-year-old armed with two knives went on a stabbing and slashing spree at the high school near Pittsburgh on Wednesday, leaving 20 people injured, including a school police officer who eventually subdued him with the help of an assistant principal, authorities said. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Jasmine Goldband) PITTSBURGH OUT

  • A parent holds hands with a Franklin Regional High School while picking up the student after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp)  PITTSBURGH OUT

    A parent holds hands with a Franklin Regional High School while picking up the student after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp) PITTSBURGH OUT

  • Emergency responders gather in the parking lot of the high school on the campus of the Franklin Regional School District where several people were stabbed at Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and being questioned. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

    Emergency responders gather in the parking lot of the high school on the campus of the Franklin Regional School District where several people were stabbed at Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and being questioned. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

  • A police officer blocks the entrance on the campus of  Franklin Regional High School where several people were stabbed at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry)  PITTSBURGH OUT

    A police officer blocks the entrance on the campus of Franklin Regional High School where several people were stabbed at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry) PITTSBURGH OUT

  • A police officer stands by the scene outside Franklin Regional High School where more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry)  PITTSBURGH OUT

    A police officer stands by the scene outside Franklin Regional High School where more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry) PITTSBURGH OUT

  • Students and a guardian walk to their car from Franklin Regional Middle School after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry)  PITTSBURGH OUT

    Students and a guardian walk to their car from Franklin Regional Middle School after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry) PITTSBURGH OUT

  • Parents arrive to pick up their children from a nearby middle and elementary school after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp)  PITTSBURGH OUT

    Parents arrive to pick up their children from a nearby middle and elementary school after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp) PITTSBURGH OUT

  • A student and guardian walk to their car from Franklin Regional Middle School after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry)  PITTSBURGH OUT

    A student and guardian walk to their car from Franklin Regional Middle School after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry) PITTSBURGH OUT

  • Emergency responders gather at the high school on the campus of the Franklin Regional School District, where several people were stabbed at Franklin Regional High School, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp)  PITTSBURGH OUT

    Emergency responders gather at the high school on the campus of the Franklin Regional School District, where several people were stabbed at Franklin Regional High School, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp) PITTSBURGH OUT

  • A man and woman walk away from Franklin Regional High School after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry)  PITTSBURGH OUT
  • Parents and students embrace along School Road near Franklin Regional High School after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp)  PITTSBURGH OUT
  • A police officer guards the entrance Heritage Elementary School as students are dismissed after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp)  PITTSBURGH OUT
  • Students walk past a row of buses as they leave the campus of the Franklin Regional School District after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
  • Students are escorted from the campus of the Franklin Regional School District after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
  • Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman Dan Stevens, left, looks on as Franklin Regional School District Superintendent Gennaro Piraino pauses while addressing the media during a news conference outside of Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh.  More than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry)  PITTSBURGH OUT
  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC chief medical officer Dr. Steve Docimo, left, and UPMC Presbyterian medical director of tram and surgery Dr. Louis Alarcon, update the media on Franklin Regional High School stabbing victims condition during a news conference in Lawrenceville, Pa. Wednesday, April 9, 2014. A 16-year-old armed with two knives went on a stabbing and slashing spree at the high school near Pittsburgh on Wednesday, leaving 20 people injured, including a school police officer who eventually subdued him with the help of an assistant principal, authorities said. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Jasmine Goldband)  PITTSBURGH OUT
  • A parent holds hands with a Franklin Regional High School while picking up the student after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp)  PITTSBURGH OUT
  • Emergency responders gather in the parking lot of the high school on the campus of the Franklin Regional School District where several people were stabbed at Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and being questioned. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
  • A police officer blocks the entrance on the campus of  Franklin Regional High School where several people were stabbed at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry)  PITTSBURGH OUT
  • A police officer stands by the scene outside Franklin Regional High School where more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry)  PITTSBURGH OUT
  • Students and a guardian walk to their car from Franklin Regional Middle School after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry)  PITTSBURGH OUT
  • Parents arrive to pick up their children from a nearby middle and elementary school after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp)  PITTSBURGH OUT
  • A student and guardian walk to their car from Franklin Regional Middle School after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry)  PITTSBURGH OUT
  • Emergency responders gather at the high school on the campus of the Franklin Regional School District, where several people were stabbed at Franklin Regional High School, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp)  PITTSBURGH OUT

Flailing away with two kitchen knives, a 16-year-old boy with a “blank expression” stabbed and slashed 21 students and a security guard in the crowded halls of his suburban Pittsburgh high school yesterday before an assistant principal tackled him.

At least five students were critically wounded, including a boy who was on a ventilator after a knife pierced his liver, missing his heart and aorta by only millimeters, doctors said.

The rampage – which came after decades in which U.S. schools geared much of their emergency planning toward mass shootings, not stabbings – set off a screaming stampede, left blood on the floor and walls, and brought teachers rushing to help the victims.

The motive was under investigation.

The suspect, whose name was not immediately released by the police, was taken into custody and treated for a minor hand wound. Late in the afternoon, he was brought into court in shackles and a hospital gown to face charges.

The attack unfolded in the morning just minutes before the start of classes at 1,200-student Franklin Regional High School, in an upper-middle-class area 15 miles east of Pittsburgh. It was over in about five minutes, during which the boy ran wildly down about 200 feet of hallway, slashing away with knives about 8 to 10 inches long, the police said.

Nate Moore, 15, said he saw the boy tackle and stab a freshman. He said he was going to try to break it up when the boy got up and slashed his face, opening a wound that required 11 stitches.

“It was really fast. It felt like he hit me with a wet rag because I felt the blood splash on my face. It spurted up on my forehead,” he said.

The attacker “had the same expression on his face that he has every day, which was the freakiest part,” Moore said. “He wasn’t saying anything. He didn’t have any anger on his face. It was just a blank expression.”

Assistant Principal Sam King finally tackled the boy and disarmed him, and a Murrysville police officer who is regularly assigned to the school handcuffed him, the police said.

Doctors said they expect all the victims to survive, despite large and deep abdominal puncture wounds in some cases.

King’s son told the Associated Press that his father was treated at a hospital, though authorities have said he did not suffer any knife wounds.

“He says he’s okay. He’s a tough cookie and sometimes hides things, but I believe he’s okay,” Zack King said. He added: “I’m proud of him.”

As for what set off the attack, Murrysville police Chief Thomas Seefeld said investigators were looking into reports of a threatening phone call between the suspect and another student the night before. Seefeld didn’t specify whether the suspect received or made the call.

“There are a number of heroes in this day. Many of them are students,” Gov. Tom Corbett said in a visit to the stricken town. “Students who stayed with their friends and didn’t leave their friends.”

He also commended cafeteria workers, teachers and teacher’s aides who put themselves at risk to help during the attack.

While several bloody stabbing rampages at schools in China have made headlines in the past few years, schools in the U.S. have concentrated their emergency preparations on shooting rampages.

Nevertheless, there have been at least two major stabbing attacks at U.S. schools over the past year, one at a community college in Texas last April that wounded at least 14 people, and another, also in Texas, that killed a 17-year-old student and injured three others at a high school in September.

Yesterday, Mia Meixner, 16, said the rampage touched off a “stampede of kids” yelling, “Run! Get out of here! Someone has a knife!”

The boy had a “blank look,” she said. “He was just kind of looking like he always does, not smiling, not scowling or frowning.”

Meixner and Moore called the attacker a shy boy who largely kept to himself, but they said he was not an outcast and they saw no indication he might be violent.

“He was never mean to anyone, and I never saw people be mean to him,” Meixner said. “I never saw him with a particular group of friends.”

Michael Float, 18, said he had just gotten to school when he saw “blood all over the floor” and smeared on the wall near the main entrance. Then he saw a wounded student.

“He had his shirt pulled up and he was screaming, ‘Help! Help!’ ” Float said. “He had a stab wound right at the top right of his stomach, blood pouring down.”

Float said he saw a teacher applying pressure to the wound of another student.

About five minutes elapsed between the time the campus police officer summoned help over the radio at 7:13 a.m. and the boy was disarmed, the police chief said.

Someone, possibly a student, pulled a fire alarm during the attack, Seefeld said. Although that created chaos, the police chief said, it emptied out the school more quickly, and “that was a good thing that that was done.”

Also, a girl with “an amazing amount of composure” applied pressure to a schoolmate’s wounds and probably kept the victim from bleeding to death, said Dr. Mark Rubino at Forbes Regional Medical Center.

Public safety and school officials said an emergency plan worked as well as could be expected. The district conducted an emergency exercise three months ago and a full-scale drill about a year ago.

“We haven’t lost a life, and I think that’s what we have to keep in mind,” said county public safety spokesman Dan Stevens.

Charging him as an adult...apparently the prosecutors didnt read the Monitor editorial

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