MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) — The Wednesday morning stabbings at Franklin Regional High School left the entire community shaken. But people in Murrysville vow to come back, stronger than ever.
The mood was somber at Dick’s Diner Thursday morning. Somber, but determined.
Friends who play on sports teams at Franklin Regional gathered to commiserate, then to talk about what comes next.
“Every single person, no matter what role they play in the community, they’re going to have to step up and help the person that’s next to them get through this,” says junior student Jacob Roberge.
We heard stories of community members offering counseling, donating food and whatever was needed. Graduates speak with pride of their alma mater.
“It’s just nice to see that when things really go sour, that our community can bond together to help one another out,” says Luke McHugh, Class of 2011.
A sunny day in Duff Park can’t erase sad memories. But there is also a glow of pride.
“It’s a tragedy, it’s a terrible thing to see,” says senior Michael Grabin. “But the way that we’ve come together is the best way we could possibly have reacted to such a terrible situation.”
Senior Gretta Martin agrees.
“All of these things are going to make us all more united, when come together as a community,” said Martin.
Meanwhile, this is the scene at Franklin Regional High School: Flowers on the door. A parking lot filled with media. Students coming by, just to feel connected to stabbing victims who also are their classmates.
A half mile from the school sits Duff Park, a place where people go to get away from it all. But on this day there really is no escape.
Senior Nina Cotronio was at her second-floor locker, when mayhem broke out down below.
“It’s weird, knowing that people we see every single day got stabbed, and now are in hospitals and fighting for their lives,” she says.
“You try to not think about it,” says Martin. “But, like, something will happen; you’ll see something that just reminds you of it again. It gets better, but then things happen and it strikes you all over again.”
Back over at Dick’s Diner, a Franklin Regional graduate reacts.
“I just keep crying,” says Alexis Iovino, Class of 2011. “And I really don’t know any of the victims. But my brother goes to high school there.”
Dick’s Diner cook Jeff Malago says his brother is a custodian at Franklin Regional.
“I couldn’t wait to get home and talk to him,” he recalls. “Make sure he’s okay.”
He adds that his brother is “a little shaken up but back to work today.”
So now what?
“Spending more time with their children, and knowing what’s going on in their lives,” says Emma Jean McLean of Ligonier.
“Just try to enjoy the day,” says William Beatty of Monroeville. “But I hope the families can do that.”
Lori Lamison of Delmont says, “I think it’s going to take a while to get over it. A lot of prayers. They need a lot of prayers.”