Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Stabbing rampage — why?

  • Print
Alex Hribal, the suspect in the multiple stabbings at the Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., is escorted by police to a district magistrate to be arraigned on Wednesday, in Export, Pa.

KEITH SRAKOCIC / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge Image

Alex Hribal, the suspect in the multiple stabbings at the Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., is escorted by police to a district magistrate to be arraigned on Wednesday, in Export, Pa.

In the midst of shock and sorrow, there is bewilderment. The mass attack Wednesday morning at Franklin Regional High School near Pittsburgh — with 19 students and a security guard stabbed or slashed, including at least one critically — leaves a host of unanswered questions. While the shrieks and sobs still echo, all the questions boil down to one: Why?

What possessed the suspect, Alex Hribal, 16, to attack students before classes had begun? Why did he choose to use two eight-inch kitchen knives? Why did this occur at Franklin Regional, which until Wednesday seemed as safe a school as any? More profound still, what explains the mass violence that stalks America’s schools, this example different only in its horrific details?

Some of the answers should come over the next few days and they will provide a guide to answering perhaps the ultimate question: Can such a terrible event be avoided or are all children in America involved in a deadly game of chance, just potential random victims in a violent society? Murrysville on Wednesday, God knows where in the months ahead.

Parents and the wider society naturally want to have their fears alleviated, and into the vacuum left by the absence of facts will come theories, often informed by political thoughts not yet imbued with wisdom. Someone will say: See, they want to ban guns but now they will have to ban knives. And someone else will say, thank God this kid didn’t have guns, 20 people might be dead. And so it will go, on and on.

But now is not the time. Now we must praise the assistant principal, Sam King, who tackled the suspect, and the student, Ian Griffith, a senior who helped him. We must applaud Gracey Evans, a junior, who applied pressure to contain a friend’s wound, and Nathan Scimio, a sophomore, who pulled the fire alarm when chaos was breaking loose. More actions by the staff and students, not to mention emergency responders and medical personnel, will come to light, showing courage and duty under pressure.

A community was attacked and a community rallied to the challenge, and that is cause for hope at the end of an evil day. It is a time for prayers — prayers for the wounded and prayers for greater understanding.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Humans of the Holidays

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose comes in for a landing Thursday morning through heavy fog on near Hyw 59 just north of Winnipeg - Day 17 Of Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Now that former cabinet minister Theresa Oswald has entered the NDP leadership race, do you believe the "gang of five" rebel ministers were right to publicly criticize Premier Greg Selinger's leadership?

View Results

Ads by Google