Slatest PM: How the Knife-Wielding Student Was Ultimately Stopped

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 9 2014 4:28 PM

Slatest PM: How the Knife-Wielding Student Was Ultimately Stopped

A Mass Stabbing: New York Times : "A 16-year-old student at a high school east of Pittsburgh walked from classroom to classroom Wednesday morning randomly stabbing and slashing 19 students as well as a security guard before being tackled and subdued by a principal and a police officer, the authorities said. At least three students from Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., remained hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday afternoon with wounds to the abdomen that penetrated internal organs, officials said. All of the wounded are expected to survive. It was not immediately known what might have prompted the student, a sophomore at the school about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh, to go on the rampage. The student, whose name has not yet been released, was armed with two knives as he stalked classmates, who ran in all directions and hid inside classrooms and the cafeteria as they sought safety, the authorities said."

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The Victims: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Three victims are in 'extremely critical condition,' said Dan Stevens, Westmoreland County public safety spokesman. Dr. Louis Alarcon, medical director of trauma surgery at UPMC Presbyterian, said a 17-year-old victim there was in critical condition and on life support. The stab wound to his abdomen is nearly 2 inches wide and deep enough to almost reach his spine. ... Many of the stab wounds were to the [other] victims' arms and legs and are not life-threatening, Stevens said."

How the Suspect Was Ultimately Stopped: USA Today: "Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said the suspect, who is in custody, was being treated for injuries to his hand. The 16-year-old sophomore was tackled by Assistant Principal Sam King and handcuffed by a security guard, he said. The guard was stabbed in the stomach during the ordeal, but was treated and released from the hospital, police and hospital officials confirmed. Seefeld said a fire alarm triggered during the incident at Franklin Regional High School prompted students to flee the building, likely keeping down the number of victims. The attack in classrooms and a hallway occurred shortly after 7 a.m., before classes began. ... [Sophomore Trinity] said Nate Scimio [another student] apparently set off the fire alarm that sent students rushing to the exits. Scimio later tweeted a selfie from the hospital showing his right arm in a bandage."

It's Wednesday, April 9th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @k_tunney and the whole team at @Slatest.

Senate GOP Blocks "Equal Pay" Effort: Politico: "Senate Republicans banded together on Wednesday to block the Paycheck Fairness Act, a Democratic bill aimed at narrowing the pay gap between men and women. The legislation failed to clear a 60-vote threshold to open debate on the bill, falling short, 53-44. Immediately following the vote, senior Democrats vowed that they will bring the bill up for future votes, daring the GOP to continually block a bill meant to appeal to women voters in a tight mid-term election-year. ... Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) voted against the bill, which allows him to bring it up for another vote later in the year. No Republican voted for the bill. Sen. Angus King, a Maine Independent who caucuses with Democrats, voted against the legislation."

Consoler-in-Chief: Associated Press: "President Barack Obama returned to the grieving Army post Wednesday where he first took on the job as the nation's comforter five years ago, mourning at Fort Hood with families and uniformed comrades of those killed during last week's shooting spree. 'We somehow bear what seems unbearable,' he declared. It was yet another sad observance for a president who has had to deliver words of consolation across the nation during his more than five years in office. At Fort Hood, the ceremony was made more poignant as a remembrance for soldiers who didn't die in wars abroad but in the safety of their own compound."

Pistorius On the Stand: Reuters:"A South African prosecutor forced Oscar Pistorius on Wednesday to look at a forensic photograph that showed the head of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after it was blown open by a hollow-point bullet fired by the Olympic and Paralympic track star. In a dramatic opening to his cross-examination of Pistorius, prosecutor Gerrie Nel made him admit he had killed Steenkamp then later confronted him with the photograph showing the side and back of her skull, her hair matted with blood and brains. 'Have a look there. I know you don't want to because you don't want to take responsibility,' Nel said to gasps from the packed public gallery. ... Pistorius responded by burying his head in his hands in the witness stand, rocking from side to side and weeping."

RIP, Ultimate Warrior: USA Today: "Days after his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame and a return to the company after an 18-year breakup, The Ultimate Warrior has died, according to a statement posted on the WWE website. He was 54. A cause of death was not released. In his final public appearance Monday night, Warrior donned the long jacket with his image painted on the back, similar to what he wore during his wrestling days, and put on a mask that looked like his trademark neon face paint. It was his first appearance on Raw since 1996."

That's all for today. See you back here Thursday. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

Kelly Tunney is a Slate intern in New York City.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.