Image: Stabbing suspect Alex Hribal
WPXI-TV via Reuters

TODAY   |  April 10, 2014

Witness: School stabbing suspect said he ‘wanted to die’

Details emerge about 16-year-old sophomore Alex Hribal, accused of a school stabbing rampage at Franklin Regional High School in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, and about the stories of bravery during the incident. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> story. the tragic stabbing in franklin regional high school . the sophomore appeared in court while members of his community held a vigil. nbc's peter alexander has the latest on the story. peter, good morning to you.

>> reporter: matt, good morning to you. we'll start with the victims. doctors are hopeful all of them were survive this awful attack. four students remain in critical condition . one described as being in extremely critical condition , that student need, more surgery overnight. and also we're learning the final moments of that awful rampage which the students tackled him the suspect said he wanted to die.

>> reporter: suspects described alex hribal. hribal was marched out of court in shackles charged with attempted homicide and aggravated assault. his attorney told the court his client would need to be seen by psychiatrist.

>> this is a nice young man. he's never been in trouble. he's not a loner. he works well with other kids at school.

>> reporter: earlier, hribal's father spoke briefly to reporters.

>> my prayers go out to everyone today. i hope they recover as quick as possible.

>> reporter: this rural pennsylvania community is trying to make sense of the rampage. caitlin was one of 20 students slashed across her neck.

>> is he okay?

>> yeah, he's okay.

>> reporter: investigators say before the opening bell at franklin regional high school wednesday, hribal began stabbing and slashing students with two knives. nate who pulled the fire alarm and 17-year-old gracy evans who helped a boy who was stabbed.

>> i said to other kids in the room, i need to put pressure on the wound.

>> reporter: police say it lasted just five minutes before tackle by assistant principal sam king , a school security officer and senior ian goodwin.

>> mr. king brought him down and we both jumped on him and immobilized him.

>> it's still too early to know a motive. he says that the suspect alex hribal is not speaking to authorities. also this morning, he tells me they're looking into a series of potential items that could be significant. including the possibility of an angry phone call , as described between the suspect and another student. matt and savannah, the night before the attack.

>> still a lot of questions. peter alexander on that for us. thanks very much.