MURRYSVILLE, Pa. - Just as school was about to begin on April 9, 2014 chaos broke out within the walls of Franklin Regional High School.
A sophomore armed with two 8-inch steak knives began attacking his fellow classmates, severely injuring many.
At the end of the five minute rampage, 21 students and a school security guard were stabbed. Two other students were hurt trying to flee from the building.
But what also happened within those five minutes were extreme acts of heroism. Baring the question many have on their minds, “Would I do the same thing in the same situation?”
John "Jay" Resetar
School guard John “Jay” Resetar was one of the first to confront the attacker.
He heard a commotion while he was in the security office before school. When he went to investigate, the fire alarm sounded. He moved down a hallway, ordering students out of classrooms. As he neared the cafeteria, he saw blood.
“There were people coming toward me, and I yelled at them to turn around and go back,” said Resetar, 69, of North Irwin. “I didn't realize one of them was the kid with the knife.”
Resetar said he twisted slightly as the boy attacked to avoid the worst of the blow. He fell back against a wall and saw Assistant Principal Sam King.
For assistant principal Sam King, the safety of students came first and foremost. Officials said King tackled the knife-wielding suspect to the ground.
“Just prior to our arrival, Sam King did a role that was admirable. Sam was able to tackle the suspect,” said Murrysville police Chief Tom Seefeld.
"I am proud of him. I know everyone who knows him is proud of him. It just feels good to do know that my dad saved the day," King's son said.
While King took down the 16-year-old suspect, others quickly jumped into help, including student Ian Griffith.
After witnessing the school security guard, Ian lovingly calls “Sarge” get stabbed in the stomach, he didn’t hesitate.
‘I was in the school and I came down the stairs and I saw the kid. Mr. King was yelling at him, and I didn’t know why. I saw him stab Sarge, the officer. We both jumped on top of him and immobilized him,” Griffith said.
While King and Griffith held the boy to the ground, assistant principal Joan Mellon grabbed the weapons. Her daughter told Channel 11 News that she’s a black belt in karate, who knows how to defend herself.
“I am very proud of her,” her daughter said.
During the confusion and chaos, other students who witnessed the horrific acts didn’t freeze in fear. Like student Nate Scimio, who had the wherewithal to pull the fire alarm while he, himself was getting stabbed.
Other students standing near Scimio said he jumped in front of them, taking a stab wound to his arm, while alerting the entire building of an emergency.
"I don't know if Nate did it on purpose or just instinct," student Trinity McCool told USA Today." He took the stab right in his arm and saved my friend and me. I'm pretty sure it was his instinct. He didn't want anyone to get hurt. He told everybody to run away. I'm pretty sure he pulled the fire alarm."
Brett Hurt & Gracey Evans
Another victim, Brett Hurt, says he’s lucky to be alive today. What’s more is he put his life on the line for friend Gracey Evans.
“This kid comes running down the hallway stabbing people, and my best friend jumps in front of me, and takes the knife for me,” Evans said.
"What was going through my mind?" Hurt said. "Will I survive or will I die."
Hurt doesn’t give himself much credit though, and thanks his friend Gracey for helping him after he was stabbed.
“Gracey was screaming and asking if I was alright. She applied pressure to the wound to keep me from bleeding out, and she got me to a safe room,” Hurt said.
“Doctors told me I did good thing. [They said] if I didn’t do what I did, he probably would have died,” Evans said.
As stories continue to emerge from this senseless act of violence, the brave acts of a few will always shine brightly. #FRstong #FRproud #Prayersfor FR
Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.
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