'Straight-A' student stabs five at Utah school: Officials

A straight-A Utah high school student stabbed five boys in the school's locker room before stabbing himself Tuesday, authorities said.

Mountain View High School in Orem was placed on lockdown after the incident, and a suspect was in custody, police said.

Orem Police Chief Gary Giles said that shortly before 8 a.m. local time, a 16-year-old student stabbed five students in the locker room and then stabbed himself. Staff members confronted the student, boxing him into a small area, before a school resource police officer already in the building arrived on the scene.

Giles said the officer jolted the student with a Taser and took him into custody.

He said the stab wounds, made with a knife with a blade of about three inches, were mostly to the neck and upper torso of the victims.

"There are a lot of different things we need to look at for a motive," Giles said. "Was it a fight, is it somebody upset with somebody, is there more to it? And I don't know the answer to that."

All five victims and the suspect were transported to area hospitals with injuries ranging from critical to fair, though none of the injuries were considered life-threatening, the Alpine School District said.

District spokeswoman Kimberly Bird said the suspect was a new, sophomore student with excellent grades who had been home-schooled prior to this school year. He had no prior disciplinary issues, she said.

After the lockdown ended, counselors and social workers were made available at the school. Bird said a "conversation" about metal detectors at the school would take place in the district. Bird noted, however, that the attack could have happened in a parking lot where metal detectors would have no impact.

"We hate the idea of metal detectors in our schools, just for the look and feel, and yet our kids safety is our most important priority," she said. "We need to have safe environments and safe schools."

Mountain View High is a  four-year school with more than 1,400 students in Orem, a city of 90,000 people about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City. After police determined that no further threat existed, and normal activities resumed in the school.

"At this point we are just trying to piece this all together," Giles said. "Hopefully at some point within the next few days we will have some answers.

 


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