OREM, Utah (AP) — Five students were stabbed inside the boy’s locker room of their Utah high school Tuesday and a 16-year-old boy identified as a suspect was taken into custody, police and students said.
The stabbings of the male students happened about 8 a.m. at Mountain View High School, a city of about 90,000 people about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City, authorities said.
All of the victims were stabbed at least once and were being treated for their injuries at local hospitals. Their conditions ranged from critical to fair, Orem police Lt. Craig Martinez told reporters.
Students described a gruesome scene, with victims covered in blood running from the locker room.
Junior Karen Martinez said she saw three victims run to the school’s office, one stabbed suffering from a head wound and another with an injury to his neck. One victim had blood running down the back of his shirt, she said.
“It was awful,” said Martinez, her eyes filled with tears. “It was so terrifying. I didn’t know any of the kids but still it was like an awful feeling to see all those kids getting hurt.”
The suspect was apprehended shortly after the stabbings by a police officer regularly assigned to work at schools, Martinez said.
The school was put on lockdown after the stabbings for about an hour. Students were later allowed to remain in school or leave for the day, and dozens of parents arrived at the school, hugging their children before taking them home.
Officials said that the stabbing happened near the school’s gym and Martinez and other students told reporters that they occurred inside the boy’s locker room just before classes were about to begin.
Student Paxton Ransom said he saw blood on the floor of the locker room and thought it was fake until he saw someone on the ground who had been stabbed. He ran away and hid with other students in the school’s the weight room.
Eduviges Sanchez had just dropped her son off at the school when she saw a student outside with a cut in the side of his neck.
Whitehurst reported from Salt Lake City.