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A male student armed with two knives went on a slashing and stabbing rampage at a high school in Murrysville, Pa., Wednesday, injuring at least 19 students before he was subdued and handcuffed, police said.

At least 8 people were hospitalized with serious injuries, many deep puncture wounds to the abdomen, hospital officials said.

Police chief Thomas Seefeld said the suspect, who was in custody, was being treated for injuries to his hand.

Seefeld also told reporters that an alarm triggered during the incident prompted students to flee the building, likely keeping down the number of victims.

The suspect, carrying two knives, was apprehended after slashing students in classrooms and in the hallway.

Nicole Damico, a junior at Franklin Regional High School, told USA TODAY she and a friend were at their lockers when the alarm went off. They then heard the principal on a walkie-talkie shouting for more ambulances.

"We saw two kids down the hall and it looked like they were okay fighting," she says."I realized that one had a knife so we sprinted out of the school. One if my peers had blood everywhere and he asked me for help. I just froze and ran out of the school. After that there was chaos."

Damico said students on social media were getting threatened last night that they would be beaten or killed.

"Us kids have been through hell and back. It made me realize that anything could happen at anytime. It was just a regular day," she said.

At least eight people were hospitalized with serious injuries, said Dr. Mark Rubino, of Forbes Hospital.

He said three students were still in surgery, and that five were being evaluated and that some of them may require surgery.

He said many of the victims have "deep penetrating injuries" to the lower abdomen and right flank.

Doctors say a female student saved the life of a stabbed classmate by applying pressure until medics arrived.

Hospital officials said a 60-year-old man, apparently the security guard, was hospitalized for a medical condition, but was not stabbed.

Police Chief Seefeld that the unidentified student was stopped by the assistant principal and a school research officer, or guard, who works with the local police. The guard eventually handcuffed the suspect, he said.

Murrysville is located about 15 miles east of Pittsburgh.

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