The Alex Hribal mystery grew deeper today as a lawyer who met with the 16-year-old school stabbing suspect at length emerged even more puzzled over why the Murrysville, Pennsylvania, youth stabbed and slashed 21 of his classmates and a school security guard Wednesday morning at Franklin Regional High School.
Describing the motives of Alex Hribal as a “mystery,” the stabbing suspect’s new attorney Patrick Thomassey said that Hribal was “a typical young kid, a B+ student,” who came from an “Ozzie and Harriet” family that ate dinner together on a nightly basis. The parents of Alex Hribal were involved in their son’s life, remaining aware of the friends he spent time with and the type of entertainment he consumed, Thomassey said. Neither were out of the ordinary.
“They did not foresee this coming. They expressed absolute horror,” Thomassey said of Hribal’s parents.
The FBI seized a personal computer from Hribal’s home Wednesday, hoping it might contain a clue as to the suspect’s reason for the school stabbing.
The lawyer who held a conversation with Hribal described him as “scared.” On the news channel CNN, Thomassey said, “I’m not sure he knows what he did.”
But speaking in an televised interview with the ABC Good Morning, America program, Thomassey said, “I think he understands what he did. I don’t think he realizes how severely injured some of these people are.”
Thomassey also said that while Hribal experienced some teasing at school, there was no indication that the teasing rose to the level of traumatic bullying, “just the normal problems between young men in school, nothing that I think would lead to this,” according to the lawyer.
At a court hearing Wednesday, Alex Hribal reportedly said that he felt suicidal and wanted to die. His lawyer said that the stabbing suspect required a psychiatric evaluation, though he had no previous record of mental illness or violent behavior.
“Something happened here. There’s an issue that maybe nobody knew about,” said the lawyer. “Obviously something went awfully wrong in this young man’s life, and I’m going to get to the bottom of it.”
On Wednesday, however, other students said it was well known around the school that Hribal had issued death threats against other students, a topic the lawyer did not address.
In interviews with The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, other Franklin High School students painted a picture of Alex Hribal as a “shy kid in the corner,” who played sports and rarely expressed anger.
One student who witnessed the stabbing attacks but was not herself stabbed by Alex Hribal, said that the 16-year-old was “a really nice kid from all the times I’ve talked to him.”