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A 'blank expression' on his face: Teenager stabs 20 at Pittsburgh-area high school

Wednesday - 4/9/2014, 5:10pm  ET

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) -- Doctors say one of the students wounded in a stabbing attack this morning at a Pennsylvania high school is on a ventilator, after a knife pierced his liver, missing his heart and aorta by just millimeters.

In all, at least five students were critically wounded and 15 other people were also hurt -- including a school police officer who confronted the assailant. The suspect is identified as a 16-year-old student. He's now in custody.

A witness says he had a "blank expression" on his face as he flailed away with two knives in the hallway just before the start of classes this morning at Franklin Regional High School, 15 miles east of Pittsburgh. Police say the motive is under investigation.

Doctors say they expect all the victims to survive, despite large and deep puncture wounds to the abdomen in some cases. The wounded campus police officer has been released.

%@AP Links

214-a-15-(Dr. Christopher Kaufman, surgical critical care physician, Forbes Hospital, at news conference)-"get through this"-Dr. Chris Kaufman at Forbes Hospital says some of the stabbing victims may face a difficult recovery. (9 Apr 2014)

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217-q-18-(Dr. Christopher Kaufman, surgical critical care physician, Forbes Hospital, at news conference)-"to the floor"-Dr. Chris Kaufman at Forbes Hospital was asked if the stabbing victims who underwent surgery were out of the woods as of Wednesday afternoon. (9 Apr 2014)

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215-a-10-(Dr. Christopher Kaufman, surgical critical care physician, Forbes Hospital, at news conference)-"of each other"-Dr. Chris Kaufman at Forbes Hospital says this emergency put the medical staff to the test. (9 Apr 2014)

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216-a-09-(Dr. Christopher Kaufman, surgical critical care physician, Forbes Hospital, at news conference)-"when they arrived"-Dr. Chris Kaufman at Forbes Hospital says the stabbing victims got excellent care, even though there were a lot of them coming in one right after the other. (9 Apr 2014)

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198-a-12-(Dr. Louis Alarcon (AL'-ahr-kahn), medical director of trauma surgery at upmc presbyterian hospital, at news conference)-"to the spine"-Dr. Louis Alarcon says judging from one of the injuries, he thinks one of the knives was a large one. (9 Apr 2014)

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196-a-07-(Dr. Steve Docimo (doh-SEE'-moh), chief medical officer, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, at news conference)-"a mass stabbing"-Dr. Steve Docimo, who's with Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, says he's still trying to digest what's happened. (9 Apr 2014)

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197-a-08-(Dr. Steve Docimo (doh-SEE'-moh), chief medical officer, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, at news conference)-"back and react"-Dr. Steve Docimo, who's with Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, says it will take some time for it all to sink in. (9 Apr 2014)

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185-a-05-(Asha Kadidahl, student, in interview)-"I almost cried"-Student Asha Kadidahl says she was frightened. COURTESY: KDKA TV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (9 Apr 2014)

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184-a-12-(Hope Demont, student, in interview)-"him screaming help"-Student Hope Demont says she saw one of the stabbing victims moments after the attack started. COURTESY: KDKA TV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (9 Apr 2014)

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APPHOTO PAGRE208: Parents and students embrace along School Road near Franklin Regional High School after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp) PITTSBURGH OUT (9 Apr 2014)

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APPHOTO PAGP102: Students are escorted from the campus of the Franklin Regional School District after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (9 Apr 2014)

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APPHOTO PAGRE210: A police officer guards the entrance Heritage Elementary School as students are dismissed after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp) PITTSBURGH OUT (9 Apr 2014)

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