The suspect who went on a stabbing rampage at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville near Pittsburgh, Pa., on Wednesday that left 22 people wounded has been identified as 16-year-old sophomore Alex Hribal. His attorney described him as "confused, scared and depressed."
- (Photo: Reuters/WPXI-TV)
- (Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)
"I think he understands what he did," attorney Patrick Thomassey told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday.
"I don't think he at this point understands the gravity of what he did. I don't think he realizes how severely injured some of these people are. And, hopefully, there's no death involved in any of these. We're praying that everybody is all right."
Hribal is being accused of wielding two knives when he went on the rampage at the high school early morning before classes began, wounding 21 students and a security guard before being tackled by an assistant principal.
The student has been charged as an adult with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and possessing a prohibited weapon on school property.
Thomassey said the teen has no history of psychiatric or disciplinary problems, and his family has described him as a good student who interacted with others.
"He's a typical young kid. He's a B+ student. The family is like Ozzie and Harriet. They have dinner together every night," the attorney told CNN.
"All the students liked him," he continued. "He worked well in groups, and this happened. So there's a reason for it -- that's what I'm saying. And we have to get to the bottom of that."
Thomassey's account does not match up with that of high schooler Mia Meixner, who claimed that Hribal was withdrawn, did not have many friends and kept to himself.
"He was very quiet. He just was kind of doing it," Meixner, who was at her locker at the time, said about the attack. "And he had this, like, look on his face that he was just crazy and he was just running around just stabbing whoever was in his way."
Dr. Mark Rubino said eight victims were taken to Forbes Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, where three remained in surgery, Fox News reported.
"Most of them were to the lower abdomen and they seemed to actually almost have a pattern," Rubino said, describing the stab wounds. "Most of them were to the right lower abdomen and to the right flank and that created some of the criticality of their wounds and the nature of their injuries."
Local churches held prayer services for the community Wednesday night. Cornerstone Ministries opened its doors to offer prayer and counseling. "Our hearts are saddened by the tragedy that has taken place at Franklin Regional High School. Please join us in praying for the individuals and families impacted by this terrible event," the non-denominational church in Murrysville stated.
Murrysville Police Chief Tom Seefeld told media Thursday morning that their investigation will be "lengthy."
"The crime scene has been processed and now witnesses and victims will be interviewed," he said.
He also noted that officials are investigating a report of a threat made on Tuesday night, but so far they have no evidence to support that.