It's been about 48 hours since teenager Alex Hribal stabbed dozens of his classmates at a Murrysville, PA high school. With even the critically injured expected to survive and police announcing that Hribal will be charged as an adult, one main question remains: Why did he do it?
That is a question that may not be answered for a while, if ever, and those who knew Hribal seem to be puzzled. Yesterday, his attorney, Patrick Thomassey, told Good Morning America that Hribal's parents "can't figure it out." Later, Thomassey later told a local television station that "it just didn't fit." An anonymous student who says he was friends with Hribal told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he had "never seen any anger from [Hribal] ever," continuing on to say that Hribal "never seemed like someone who would do anything violent."
Of course, "shy" and "quiet," which is how Hribal was also described to the Gazette, is often how boys who conduct mass violence at their schools are perceived. It's also no surprise that Hribal's mother and father find themselves in a state of shock: the parents of Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold and Adam Lanza had no idea what their sons were planning in their bedrooms.
It is all still conjecture now, so news networks like NBC are trotting out criminologists to diagnose Hribal from states away. Even Thomassey, who is the only person relaying Hribal's disposition to the media, is speculating. In that local TV interview, Hribal's lawyer said that there has been "a substantial amount of discussion about bullying." But in an earlier interview with CNN, he said of Hribal: "All the students liked him. He wasn't a loner. He worked well in groups."
We do know that Hribal seemed to attack at random, even stabbing someone described as a good friend of his. A boy named Nate Moore, who says he witnessed the attack, said that Hribal was "emotionless" during the attack, in which he stabbed one boy in the side and all the way back to his spine, piercing his liver and diaphragm.
Hribal has been charged as an adult with four counts of attempted murder and 21 counts of aggravated assault, so he may one day explain himself in court, or to the state before that. Until then, there are only straws to grasp at.
[image via AP]