Friday, September 18, 2020
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5 students stabbed at a Utah H.S.

A student allegedly stabbed five other students in a locker room at Mountain View High School in Orem, Utah, just before 8 AM Tuesday. He was taken into custody within minutes, and none of the injuries are considered life-threatening.

Orem Police Lieutenant Craig Martinez said in a statement that two of the victims were in critical condition but considered stable, and three of them were in fair condition, all at local hospitals as of 3:45 PM.

“This was a tragic, unforeseen event that no one could have prevented,” the statement read. “Our only hope is that we can learn from it and pray that it never happens again.”

The school was immediately placed on lockdown, and classes resumed normal operation about 90 minutes later, according to a report on KSL-TV. The school remained open, with officials knowing it’s a safe place for kids to be and has resources they can use.

A 16-year-old boy, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, was charged in connection with the stabbings following his being treated at and released from a local hospital. (He had stabbed himself in the neck prior to being disarmed.)

“We express our deepest condolences to the five boys who were harmed at Mountain View High School this morning and to their families,” a prepared statement from the suspect’s family read. “None of the victims had done anything to hurt him. This was in no way racially or ethnically motivated. We are at a loss to express how deeply sorry we are for the pain and injury caused. Our thoughts and prayers will be with the boys and their families.”

The names of the victims have not been released, and I don’t expect those names to be released. Since they appeared to have been in the wrong locker room at the wrong time, please resist the urge to post their names on social media, which has done enough this fall to spread rumor and innuendo.

The school serves about 1,300 students and is located in the suburbs of Salt Lake City. The suspect was a good student, according to a district spokeswoman, with a straight-A average and no prior incidents that required disciplinary action. He was said to have enrolled at the school just this year.

Several students in the locker room at the time were getting ready for PE class, according to police. Many of them called 911 when the stabbings broke out.

A school resource officer was on the scene, preparing to teach a class on law enforcement in another part of the school, when he heard the dispatch on his police radio. He rushed over to the locker room and found the suspect boxed in by other school officials. He used a taser on the suspect and disarmed him.

The suspect was in custody within about six minutes of the first calls to 911. “When you think about that kind of response time, that’s amazing,” the police chief was quoted as saying.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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