On the morning of April 9, 2014, a 16-year-old male student at Franklin Regional High School located outside of Pittsburgh, went on a stabbing rampage, stabbing 21 students and one faculty member before being subdued by the vice principal. The suspect has been identified as Alex Hribal. Although he is only 16, he was charged as an adult with four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault.
The motives for this attack were not immediately known; however, new evidence shows that a fight was arranged the day before between Alex and another student. Alex apparently brought two knives to school for the fight, but ended up using them to injure as many students as he could. The mental state of the attacker is not yet known. At approximately 7:13 a.m., the attacker, armed with a pair of knives and wearing all-black clothing moved through the schools crowded hallways, stabbing and slashing as many students as he could. Initially, no one knew what was happening and there was mass confusion and panic. In the frenzy of the situation, one student pulled the fire alarm to evacuate the building. Shortly after, a security guard who was positioned in the school attempted to subdue the attacker, but he himself was stabbed. Finally, the vice principal of the school was able to disarm and subdue the attacker. Only five minutes later, police arrived and secured the school.
Eight of the victims were immediately rushed to the hospital, four of whom were in very serious condition with deep wounds to the abdomen. Luckily, no one was killed during the attack, but a few of the victims are still in serious condition. Although this is a tragedy, I think we can be thankful that knives were used instead of a gun. If the attacker could injure so many people with a knife, imagine what could of happened if he used a gun. This incident brings up many question about violence in schools and school security. After the attack, many people were calling for increased security in schools through the use of metal detectors and security cameras. However, I don’t think that this will solve the problem. The problem lies with society, and cannot be fixed merely with more security precautions.
If one good thing can be seen in this incident, it’s the courage that was shown by the numerous heroes of the day. Many students refused to leave the sides of their classmates, caring for their wounds and comforting them until help arrived. The vice principal who subdued the attacker is also a hero. And we certainly can’t forget about the law enforcement and EMS personnel who arrived promptly on the scene. Many of these victims would have died if it wasn’t for the courage and care shown by these people. This event is very tragic and reminds us of the other attacks that have claimed numerous lives in schools throughout the U.S. However, we can be thankful that no one was killed and that a lesson was learned from this incident.