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Four students stabbed at a Pittsburgh-area high school were in critical condition Wednesday afternoon, with one on life support after the knife came “within millimeters” of his heart, doctors said.
The 17-year-old victim — a senior at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa. — suffered a single, life-threatening stab wound to the left side of his torso. It damaged his liver, diaphragm and major blood vessels, Dr. Louis Alarcon told reporters.
The teen had been taken to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh with low blood pressure and massive bleeding.
“Fortunately for this young man, the knife missed his heart and his aorta,” Alarcon said.
The teen will require further surgery over the next few days for his bleeding and to prevent clotting, doctors said.
“We’re very optimistic he’s going to make it through this,” Alarcon added.
The suspect, a fellow student, wielded two knives in the early-morning attack that injured 20 people, authorities said. He was taken into custody.
Three other victims also required surgery after their organs were punctured during the knifing spree, said doctors at Forbes Regional Hospital, which took in eight of the injured.
All the victims at Forbes were males, ages 15 to 17, as well as one adult who was “in good shape,” hospital officials said. The adult was treated for an undisclosed “medical condition,” not stab wounds, they added.
Dr. Mark Rubino of Forbes told reporters that he expects all of the victims at his hospital to survive, although doctors don’t expect any of them to be discharged Wednesday.
Forbes officials said the puncture wounds were mostly in the victims’ lower right abdomens and right sides.
“The critical nature of these injures really demanded an acute response,” Rubino said.
Meanwhile, the University of Pittsburgh’s four facilities, including UPMC Presbyterian, were coping with victims in various stages, officials said.
Five students were being treated at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where three were rushed to the Emergency Room but were in good condition, doctors said.
One adult was discharged from UPMC Mercy with superficial wounds. Five students were also treated and discharged from UPMC East.