School buses are parked outside Franklin Regional High School after reports of stabbing injuries in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Twenty students were injured in the attack and four of the victims were flown to area hospitals. (Reuters)
In yet another incident of violence in US schools, a 10th grader went on a stabbing spree in Pennsylvania on Wednesday morning, leaving at least 20 injured.
The suspect, a 16-year-old male student who remained unidentified, ran down the school hallway and into classrooms slashing anyone who came in the way using two knives.
He was stopped by the school’s vice-principal, who wrestled him to the ground, according to local news reports. He is in custody now, but there was no word on his motives.
The stabbings took place at Franklin Regional High School, Murrysville, near Pittsburg, around 7:15am, shortly after the school started for the day.
Three of the injured were in critical condition, said Dr Mark Rubino of a local hospital treating them. They had suffered "deep penetrating injuries", he added.
The students who were hurt ranged in age from 14 to 17. All of the injuries are stabbing-related, such as lacerations or punctures. Authorities found no evidence of gun use.
"We saw people running everywhere," said police chief Thomas Seefeld. "In a situation like this, you want the students to run… you want the kids to get out of the area, and they did."
Between 14 and 34 school children are victims of homicide on school grounds every year in the US, according to US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There were 359,000 violent incidents on school grounds in 2010, according to the most recent CDC study — 91,400 of which were described as "serious violent incidents".
The deadliest school violence in US history took place in December 2012 when 20 first-graders and 6 staff members were gunned down at an elementary school in Connecticut.
President Barack Obama had tried to lead a shocked nation into tightening gun laws but failed to effect even modest changes in the face of stiff opposition from the powerful gun lobby.
Watch: 20 hurt in mass stabbing at US high school