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Suspect’s Lawyer: “Some Aspects” Of Bullying May Have Prompted Stabbing

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) — Alex Hribal, the 16-year-old suspect in Wednesday’s stabbing rampage at Franklin Regional High School, is being held in the Westmoreland County Juvenile Detention Center.

He appeared in a district magistrate’s office in Export late Wednesday; and on Thursday, he saw his parents for the first time since the stabbings.

KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti Reports:

KDKA’s Marty Griffin: “Is it fair to say you are confounded?”

Pat Thomassey: “I am, I am, because everything I have heard from people surrounding this young man, and my interaction with him now, it just doesn’t fit.”

Thomassey met with Hribal, his client, Thursday for the second time.

“It’s obvious something went haywire, but this kid certainly doesn’t have a history of it. His parents are devastated by what he did; and quite frankly, he is now, too.”

KDKA’s Marty Griffin Reports:

There is speculation the attack may have been planned out.

Griffin: “There had to be a plan, sir?”

Thomassey: “Yes, I think there is. I’m not going to tell you the discussion with him; but obviously, he took knives to school, and you know, people do that for a reason, so I guess there was a plan.”

There has also been a lot of discussion about possible bullying.

Griffin: “I’m hearing a substantial amount of discussion about bullying.”

Thomassey: “I think there is some aspects of that to this. And it’s going to take a lot more probing I think and discussion to flush that out, but I think there’s some of that here.”

KDKA’s Marty Griffin Reports:

Griffin: “There had to be a target, many are saying.”

Thomassey: “No, I don’t think that at all. The way it occurred, there was no specific target.”

Meanwhile, one person who was back at Franklin Regional High School Thursday morning was Patrolman William “Buzz” Yakshe.

He was not injured in Wednesday’s attack, but he was among those who were on hand as Hribal was restrained. Patrolman Yakshe was the man who put the cuffs on the knife-wielding student.

KDKA’s Harold Hayes Reports:

Patrolman Yakshe would not agree to a formal interview, but did tell reporters “those are my kids” when he referred to the students at Franklin Regional.

Hribal is now facing numerous counts of attempted homicide and aggravated assault.

On Wednesday, 50 federal, state and local police were on hand.

“The FBI was a great resource,” said Chief Thomas Seefeld, of Murrysville Police. “They conducted a lot of the interviewing, and as you can imagine, there was massive interviewing, and also with retrieving some property.”

Among other things the FBI collected was Hribal’s computer equipment.

As that investigation continues, the superintendent was asked at an early morning news conference about reports Hribal was bullied.

He wouldn’t address Hribal’s case in particular, but did speak about bullying in general.

KDKA’s Harold Hayes Reports:

“When we have bullying situations, we deal with them,” said Superintendent Gennaro Piraino, of the Franklin Regional School District. “We deal with them proactively through our programming, and we deal with them re-actively when they occur.”

As for security, the police chief did not address specifics, but did say there will be a review.

RELATED LINKS:
More Franklin Regional Reports
More Reports by Marty Griffin
More Reports by Harold Hayes

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