The school stabbing suspect who wounded 21 fellow students and a school security guard at a high school in the Pittsburgh suburbs Wednesday morning now has a name. He is identified as 16-year-old Alex Hribal, a student who was “shy” and “not a real well-liked kid,” according to fellow students — who also said that Hribal made death threats against other students in the past.
Police Investigate Report That Stabbing Suspect Threatened Fellow Student
Police are investigating a report that Hribal and another student exchanged a threatening phone call the night before the school stabbing rampage, at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. But Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld did not specify whether Hribal delivered the threats, or was on the receiving end of them.
But student Hope Demont told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that according to a school rumor, Hribal had placed the call and told the other student, “I’m going to f*** you up.”
School Stabbing Suspect Charged With Attempted Homicide
Hribal, a high school sophomore, appeared in court Wednesday afternoon wearing a hospital gown, after being treated for a wound to his hand he incurred when an assistant school principal and a security guard struggled to subdue him and stop the school stabbing rampage.
Hribal was charged with four counts of attempted criminal homicide, 21 counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a weapon on school property.
Hribal’s home, which was searched by FBI agents on Wednesday, is located just a half a block away from the home of Sam King, the assistant principal who tackled him, ending the school stabbing spree.
Students Paint Differing Portraits Of Alex Hribal
Why Hribal went berserk with two kitchen knives, stabbing and slashing fellow students seemingly at random remains a mystery. Some students described him as a “normal kid” prior to the attack, but others had a different view of the stabbing suspect.
Justin Katonak, 17, who said he has been friends with Hribal’s older brother since the two were in grade school, said that the stabbing suspect appeared to be “a completely innocent kid.”
Another Franklin High School student, who said that he knew the stabbing suspect well, said he was surprised to learn that Hribal was accused of the attack.
“He never seemed like someone who would do anything violent. He never seems very upset or anything like that,” the friend of Hribal’s said. He described Hribal as interested in hockey and video games, and “sort of nerdy.”
Though he never saw Hribal being bullied, the school stabbing suspect’s friend said he “assumed” that Hribal was a bullying victim and “there was a good amount of depression.”
Others painted a darker picture. One recent graduate of the high school, student, said he was the brother of a student who was “a foot or two” from a victim who was stabbed by Hribal, said the stabbing suspect “wasn’t a real well-liked kid” who made threats against other students.
“It was pretty common knowledge between all the kids that he had made some death threats,” said the former student. “I guess the kids who got the threats just assumed it’s no big deal.”
Two of the school stabbing victims remained in critical condition Wednesday night. One, a 17-year-old, was on a life support system after being stabbed in the liver and diaphragm.