Thursday, January 10, 2008

PA School Stabbings

The trenchcoat, propane, and various other hints align this incident as another Columbine death cult copycat. The individual involved wrote his note as if he would not survive the event.

The Associated Press is detailing this school incident of January 9, 2008, thusly:

Pa. Students Jump Attacker; 3 Stabbed

Associated Press Writer

READING, Pa. (AP) -- Eighth-grader Tim Hauck said he knew by the enraged look on his friend's face that the other teenager meant to hurt as many people as he could.

The 13-year-old, wearing a dark trench coat and listening to his MP3 player, burst into an English class Wednesday morning and began slashing at students with a knife, flipping desks, throwing books and lighting firecrackers.

Police said he had come to school with a propane torch, gasoline and lantern fluid, and left a note for his mother that said: "Mom, I'm so sorry. I love you. Goodbye."

Three students suffered relatively minor stab wounds in the attack at Antietam Middle-Senior High School, about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

"You looked at his face, you could tell he was going to do what he was going to do," Hauck said. "He really wanted to hurt people."

Police were stationed at the school as students arrived Thursday. Only one entrance was open, and police searched every student with a handheld metal detector.

Police said students tried to subdue their classmate after he starting attacking people Wednesday, and school officials ultimately stopped him. The suspect, whose name was widely circulated by students but not confirmed by police, is expected to face juvenile charges that have yet to be determined.

"As a parent, as an officer, I would be very proud of what those students did," Berks Regional Police Officer Raymond Serafin said.

Hauck, 14, said he got behind a teacher's desk and asked the attacker, "Why do you want to hurt me? I'm your friend," and the suspect replied, "I'm not going to hurt you. I'm not going to kill you." Hauck said he then ran out of the classroom and yelled for help.

Principal James Snyder and a teacher confronted the suspect in a hallway after the initial assault, and talked to him for about 15 minutes, trying to calm him and persuade him to go to the cafeteria or Snyder's office.

"He was mad at a lot of people and a lot of things, and the school," Snyder said.

When it appeared the boy was unwilling to surrender, another teacher, English instructor David Kase, walked up behind him and swatted his arm, knocking the propane torch from his hand, Snyder said.

"We pushed him to the wall and kept him to a confined area so he wasn't going anywhere," Snyder said.

The school was evacuated shortly after the attack. All three victims were treated at a hospital and released.

The school in Lower Alsace Township, which enrolls 540 students, will reopen Thursday with counselors and law enforcement on hand to talk to students and parents.

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