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   MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Flailing away with two knives, a 16-year-old boy with a "blank expression" stabbed and slashed 19 students and a police officer in the crowded halls of his suburban Pittsburgh high school Wednesday 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 years in which U.S. schools have 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 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.
   While several bloody stabbing rampages at schools in China have made headlines in the past few years, large-scale knife attacks are almost unheard of in the U.S.
   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 a matter of minutes.
   Witnesses said the boy at first tackled a freshman and stabbed him in the belly, then got up and ran wildly down the hall, slashing other students.
   Nate Moore, 15, said he saw the first attack and was going to try to break it up when the boy got up and slashed his face, requiring 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."
   Doctors said they expect all the victims to survive, despite large and deep abdominal puncture wounds in some cases. The wounded police officer — who was regularly assigned to the campus — was treated and released.
   Authorities credited an assistant principal with subduing the assailant. They gave no details, but students identified the educator as Sam King and told local news organizations that they saw him tackle the boy after the youngster stabbed the campus officer.
   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 OK. He's a tough cookie and sometimes hides things, but I believe he's OK," 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.
   Mia Meixner, 16, said the initial assault touched off a "stampede of kids" yelling, "Run! Get out of here! Someone has a knife!"
   Meixner and Moore called the attacker a shy and quiet boy who largely kept to himself, but they said he was not an outcast and they saw no indication before the attack that 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."
   During the attack, the boy had a "blank look," she said. "He was just kind of looking like he always does, not smiling, not scowling or frowning."
   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.
   Someone, possibly a student, pulled a fire alarm after seeing some of the stabbings, the police chief said. Although that created chaos, Seefeld 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.

 

Published in National News

   An off duty St. Louis police officer is fighting for his life after being ejected from his vehicle during a traffic accident early Sunday evening.  Police say it happened at Jamieson and Fyler about 5:30 p.m.  

   The 25 year old officer and his girlfriend had been traveling south on Jamieson when their vehicle collided with an SUV.  The officer's vehicle rolled several times.  

   Chief Sam Dotson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the officer suffered head injuries.  No one else was seriously hurt.  

   Accident reconstruction crews are investigating.  

   Dotson told the paper the injured officer has been with the department about a year, and works in the 5th district.  

Published in Local News

   A 12 year old Jefferson County girl is fighting for her life after being struck by a car while riding her bike Wednesday afternoon.  It happened about 2:30 p.m. in the 4000 block of West Rock Creek Road near Romaine Creek Road.  

   The Missouri Highway Patrol says a 72 year old woman was rounding a curve when she struck Isabella Marco.  Investigators say Marco was riding her bike eastbound in a westbound lane when she was struck head-on.

   The girl was airlifted to St. Louis Children's Hospital where she's listed in critical condition.

Published in Local News

A child was thrown from a car during a serious accident this afternoon.

Police say an officer saw a driver speeding on Broadway towards the River City Casino. The officer tried to pull the suspect over, but the driver increased speed and ran several traffic lights. At the intersection of Broadway and Marceau the suspect slammed into several cars. Two adults suffered minor injuries and a 4-year-old child was ejected from a vehicle. The child is in critical condition.

Crews remain at the scene.

Published in Local News

   Four adults, two of them coaches with a girls basketball team from St. Louis, are in critical condition after an accident involving the team's van.  

   The crash happened Saturday about 20 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee.  The minivan carrying the St. Louis Lady Monarchs was clipped by another vehicle and then crossed the center line and struck a car.  

   Seven 16 year old girls were injured.  Two small children, ages 1 and 2, were also injured.  All off the children were treated and released from a local hospital.  

   The two coaches and two adults in the oncoming car are hospitalized in critical condition.  Police say none of the injured was wearing a seat belt.  

   The team had been in Tennessee for a basketball tournament.

Published in Local News

   A Waterloo man is critically injured after falling about 50 feet as he reportedly fled from a crash.  

   The single-car accident happened around 8:30 Monday evening along Interstate 255 just west of Illinois Route 3.  

   Illinois State Police have identified the driver as 21 year old Thomas Falk.  

   Witnesses told police that Falk appeared to have a head injury when he got out of his car.  Police say Falk argued with someone who had reported the crash to police, then jumped over a guardrail and fell to the railroad tracks below.  

   Falk was taken to St. Louis University Hospital by Arch helicopter.  His condition is reported to be very critical. 

Published in Local News

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