New York - An American high school student stabbed or
slashed 20 people, mostly teenagers, in a bloody 30-minute rampage in the
classrooms and hallways of a Pittsburg high school on Wednesday, officials said.
Several had life threatening injuries, Chris Kaufmann,
the trauma medical director at Forbes Regional Hospital, told CNN.
The attack at Franklin Regional High School in
Murrysville, a suburb of Pittsburg, began at 07:13 (12:13 GMT) as students
began arriving for what should have been a routine day.
The assault was over by 07:45 with the suspect taken into
custody almost immediately, Dan Stevens, a spokesperson for Westmoreland County
emergency management, told AFP.
Stevens identified the suspect as a male student.
Stevens said he was cornered by police officers who
rushed to the scene. His age and identity were not immediately released.
"Twenty students were injured, four of those
students were flown from the scene," Stevens told AFP.
The victims, most of them aged 14 to 17, were slashed and
stabbed in "numerous classrooms and hallways" of the high school,
The school has since been evacuated.
A statement on the website of the Franklin Regional
School District said a "critical incident" had occurred.
"All elementary schools are cancelled, the middle
school and high school students are secure," the statement said.
Victims had been stabbed in the torso, Kaufmann said.
"These are quite serious injuries," he told
"We had two patients who went immediately to the
operating room," Kaufmann said.
While most were students at the high school, an adult
also was among those being treated at the hospital.
Wednesday's attack comes after a long and frequent line
of US school shootings that have inflamed a nationwide debate over gun control
in the United States.
But even the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook
Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 young children and six adults were
shot dead, ultimately failed to tighten gun ownership rules.