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News & Politics News & Politics

Mass School Stabbing in Pittsburgh Wednesday.....

Posted by on Apr. 10, 2014 at 8:52 AM
  • 8 Replies

The 'shy kid in the corner' charged in Franklin Regional knife attack


He always seemed to be "the shy kid in the corner," a classmate said.

Hours after a startling and savage attack Wednesday morning that left 21 students and a security guard wounded, that was the picture that began to emerge of 16-year-old Alex Hribal, a sophomore at Franklin Regional High School. Armed with two 8-inch knives, he is accused of stabbing and slashing his way through a crowded hallway in an assault that was labeled "bizarre" by both a prosecutor and his own lawyer.

Interviews with nearly two dozen students Wednesday evening at various vigils organized by churches yielded precious little background about Alex, who was arraigned on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and weapon possession. Four of his alleged victims remained in critical condition Wednesday night.

Many students said they did not know Alex. Others, like sophomore Anissa Park, who knew Alex from elementary school but hadn't talked with him for some time, invariably used the words "shy" and "quiet" to describe him. Some said he was involved in athletics, including dek hockey, track and tennis, though the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette could not confirm those details Wednesday night.

Another student who knew Alex, though he spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was stunned by the attack.

"I know him pretty well," the boy said, adding that Alex's interests swung toward the usual for a teenage boy, including hockey and video games. "I've never seen any anger from him, ever. ... He never seemed like someone who would do anything violent. He never seems very upset or any of that."

His parents could not be reached Wednesday, but Alex's lawyer, Patrick Thomassey said he had spoken to them about an hour before his arraignment.

"They did not foresee this coming. They expressed absolute horror," Mr. Thomassey said, adding that the family's thoughts were with the victims.

Mr. Thomassey said the teenager was not a loner nor was he aware of any instances of bullying that would have provoked the attack.

"He's scared," Mr. Thomassey said. "He's a young kid. He's 16, looking like he's 12. This is all still new to him."

Mr. Thomassey said Alex is a B-plus student from a stable home, describing his family as "like Ozzie and Harriet."

"They have dinner together every night," the attorney said, He would not provide details of his discussions with his client.

"I'm not sure he knows what he did, quite frankly," Mr. Thomassey said. "Something happened here. There's an issue that maybe nobody knew about."

District Attorney John Peck said during the brief hearing that Alex made some statements after school officials tackled him that indicated he wanted to die.

Dan McCool said his 16-year-old daughter, Trinity, was in the hallway as the attack unfolded.

"They just know who he is. They don't know necessarily much about him. They just say he was kind of quiet and kept to himself," Mr. McCool said, adding that the terror of what had happened didn't hit him until he went to pick his daughter up at the school, where he was struck by the degree of order and efficiency. "Any time something happens I just try to remain calm. ... When I went down to the school to pick her up after she talked to the FBI, I was breaking up then."

Franklin Regional school psychologists were not available Wednesday.

Though she would not discuss the Franklin Regional case specifically, Mary Margaret Kerr, chair of administrative and policy studies and a professor of psychology in education and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, said it can be difficult for schools to predict violent behavior in students.

She said standard psychological tests haven't been successful in predicting targeted violence in schools, adding that many school attackers had no histories of mental disorders.

Ms. Kerr, author of "Strategies for Addressing Behavioral Problems in the Classroom," referenced a report by the U. S. Secret Service and Department of Education on school shootings and school-based attacks dating to 1974.

It found that school attacks are rarely impulsive acts, but typically are planned.

"The study findings also revealed that there is no 'profile' of a school shooter; instead, the students who carried out the attacks differed from one another in numerous ways," according to a synopsis of the report on the Secret Service website.

The study said, however, that most attackers had engaged in prior behavior that concerned at least one adult, and often several adults.

Deborah Robinson, director of Pitt's school social worker, home and school visitor certificate program, said threat assessment is "a huge part of what it means to be a school social worker."

Obvious signs of trouble could include poor attendance, poor hygiene and an inability or reluctance to connect with other students, though students who display those traits aren't necessarily bound for violence.

Indeed, it can be that students who commit violent acts show no warning signs.

"It's really unpredictable. You can have a lot of good resources and good things in place and violence can still happen," Ms. Robinson said.


This story was written by Robert Zullo based on his reporting and that of staff writers Lexi Belcufine, Molly Born, Rich Lord, Liz Navratil and Mary Niederberger. Robert Zullo: rzullo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3909. Twitter: @rczullo.



Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/westmoreland/2014/04/10/The-shy-kid-in-the-corner-The-shy-kid-in-the-corner-the-accused-in-knife-attack/stories/201404100258#ixzz2yUFfmg4f

by on Apr. 10, 2014 at 8:52 AM
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Replies (1-8):
cjsbmom
by Bronze Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 1:44 PM

BUMP!

krazykat27
by New Member on Apr. 12, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Why is it every time something like this happens, it's always the "shy kid" or the "quiet person" who did it? 

VeronicaTex
by on Apr. 12, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Did this young man have a computer?

I feel too many people are not cultivating a stable life because of the interaction with the computer.

Veronica

Ms.KitKat
by Gold Member on Apr. 12, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Perhaps because the athlete or the kids involved in activities tend not to pull crazy shit like this.  

Quoting krazykat27:

Why is it every time something like this happens, it's always the "shy kid" or the "quiet person" who did it? 


Analeigh2012
by Silver Member on Apr. 12, 2014 at 6:42 PM
I don't know why they find it difficult to predict who MIGHT execute a violent act. It does seem to always be the loner or shy or quiet or bullied type. Not every loner causes violence - not what I am saying. But this is where profiling could help tremendously - those that fit these categories from junior high up should be given some sort of focused treatment / therapy / scrutiny. Something!

And I'm just waiting for the calls now to ban knives from being sold or owned.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
cjsbmom
by Bronze Member on Apr. 12, 2014 at 10:02 PM
1 mom liked this

I find it hard to believe there weren't any signs that he might do something like this. People just are so self-absorbed these days that they probably didn't pay attention to the signs. 

Quoting Analeigh2012: I don't know why they find it difficult to predict who MIGHT execute a violent act. It does seem to always be the loner or shy or quiet or bullied type. Not every loner causes violence - not what I am saying. But this is where profiling could help tremendously - those that fit these categories from junior high up should be given some sort of focused treatment / therapy / scrutiny. Something! And I'm just waiting for the calls now to ban knives from being sold or owned.


Analeigh2012
by Silver Member on Apr. 12, 2014 at 10:43 PM
Yes. I know when my youngest brother went to college I stopped to see him in the Spring of his freshman year. I knew immediately there was an issue. He was so withdrawn, and talking about things that didn't make sense. I mentioned it to my Mom when I got there and she said she saw him every weekend and had not noticed any change or issue. I stopped back at the college, talked to the administration and we pulled him in to the conversation and they got him help. He had watched two of his classmates commit suicide and never told my mom but it really snapped something inside of him. He got the help he needed and changed schools. I do not regret at all that I spoke up. I don't think he would have hurt anyone else but may have hurt himself. I think some people are too close to see the changes or sign and some people just chose to not believe and so ignore. People need to be taught to speak up and take action. I see it as an act of love. My brother is an extremely bright and well adjusted man in his 30s now. And we are extremely close.

Quoting cjsbmom:

I find it hard to believe there weren't any signs that he might do something like this. People just are so self-absorbed these days that they probably didn't pay attention to the signs. 

Quoting Analeigh2012: I don't know why they find it difficult to predict who MIGHT execute a violent act. It does seem to always be the loner or shy or quiet or bullied type. Not every loner causes violence - not what I am saying. But this is where profiling could help tremendously - those that fit these categories from junior high up should be given some sort of focused treatment / therapy / scrutiny. Something!

And I'm just waiting for the calls now to ban knives from being sold or owned.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
29again
by Gold Member on Apr. 13, 2014 at 10:32 PM


Quoting krazykat27:

Why is it every time something like this happens, it's always the "shy kid" or the "quiet person" who did it? 

Because the quiet, shy ones tend to get bullied..  and then we get something like this...

click the pic to see the group!


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