Investigation Into the Pa. School Stabbing

Suspect Alex Hribal's lawyer says he does not understand the gravity of what happened.
9:31 | 04/10/14

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Transcript for Investigation Into the Pa. School Stabbing
This is a special room. And -- new nose -- on it is assessed Bryant -- competitive it is. -- that's in the back -- fascists. How have -- lecturer and her put pressure on right -- -- assured him bleed out. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- The victims of the mass stabbing at a Pennsylvania school speaking out telling their stories. Of survival over what I'm -- Cutler in New York a day after police say sixteen year old Alex rival. Stabbed and slashed 21 fellow students and a security guard the victims. We're calling the chaos that Franklin regional high school as authorities are still trying to figure out the motive behind rivals actions. His lawyer -- ABC news that he doesn't think rival fully understands the gravity. Of what exactly happened NBC's Karen sharp as. Morrisville Pennsylvania with the latest. -- investigation Karen. -- afternoon Dan there are so many questions today who is Alex rival -- talking to his classmates fellow students about what he was like. And also what made him come to school yesterday -- -- long kitchen knives and start attacking. -- also many questions about whether they were -- signs that could have prevented yesterday's horrific violence. Police here in Murray's bill banners saying this is going to be a very lengthy investigation. Franklin regional high school student describe Alex rival as quiet and -- -- sixteen year old sophomore turned himself. Witnesses to yesterday's horrific violent attacks -- rival had a blank look on his face no emotion and he calmly stabbed his schoolmates. He's. Confused scared. The press. In over the next few days we'll try to figure out. What the heck happened here and his family said to be devastated and didn't see this -- its first. Rebels parents described him as a good student -- never been in trouble he has no history of psychiatric problems. They also noted that he does look young for his age but that he mingle as well with other children. Amazing stories of heroism keep coming out. Nate -- pulled the fire alarm inside the school yesterday officials said -- quick thinking he lives. Studio scene here in itself be he -- the hospital also jumped in front of wind east Dallas and treated -- -- cool to protect them from rival. He suffered a stab wound to his -- Literally like. Saved us so much from him like a serious injury or even maybe dad like I don't even -- hot like start to thank me. Sophomore Brett hurt was stabbed in the back stay informed his -- from his wife. Her put pressure on right where -- assured him bleed out. Victims arrived at one hospital right during a shift change so -- that -- -- -- double the doctors on hand to lend a hand. There are still three patients in the icu and doctors said today that two won't require more surgeries -- Larger -- of the school is still closed but what are we but the situation. Actually inside when students might be going back. Investigators say that they have gotten all of the evidence they need out of the school which is right behind us here in Marysville -- and and that the school will be close over the next several days they want to get students back next week if they possibly can but we're told yesterday that this was a very vast right -- Alex -- came into the school. Made his way down a hallway as he was stabbing around and into his fellow students. So they had a lot of ground to go over here heard a lot of the students saying yesterday how bloody this team was there were just everywhere. They turned -- because of how he was able to make his way down that hallway. But investigators do say that they had taken everything we need out of the high school now it'll be cleanup and try to get those students back in. And get things back to normal here -- Franklin regional high school as quickly as possible and. Our community still trying to heal and make sense of all that ABC's -- -- Summers but that's me Karen thank you appreciate that. I want to bring in now from Washington DC former FBI agent and ABC news consultant Brad Garrett Brett. The the young suspect -- -- he's on suicide watch his attorney describing him as confused scared depressed. What does that indicate to you -- Well that indicates somebody -- the reality of what he has done. Is now just setting it. What what happens stand is that when the when these kids get up to the point where they launch they commit an attack whether -- with -- weapons or knives. The New York EI will say they're in a trance but it's like. What they are -- not human beings but stabbing people they believe collectively believe have harmed them. And so what they once they get to the end and if there's still alive and they're now in custody the reality sets in of what they've actually done. And that's -- in it and think they've placed him on suicide watch that's probably the reason why is he's now realizing. What damage she's actually been done to other people. Well it's hard -- -- about his personality Brad school officials say that being classed as -- so that he was never bullied. -- -- describing him as a quiet kid who never got upset. -- dinner with the family every night there's a surprising at them and you hear those kinds of character counts. For this kind of -- usual behavior. Sometimes stand kids are fairly good adults are better at an -- masking what they really feel and what's going on inside them. Alex sounds like it that kid that was -- -- very congenial on the on the surface. May be a bit withdrawn. Navy interact -- -- other people but did he actually connect with people that he actually care about other people or. Did he feel like he was not really giving anything out of -- relationship with people that. They were is there because they were trying to be nice to him. And for whatever reason he has withdrawn. Within himself in as what's he did that. Then everything starts to distort because he's got really know because he's not connected even though he may be talking to people he's not connected. And so his reality based. -- is completely. Distorted what about the fact that they he's being charged as an adult you think this will ever go to trial. Well it who knows my guess is no -- mean this is a kind of case based on his age. That some sort of plea agreement -- reached you know I think I can -- is going to be a short sentence. Witnesses that I would guess it would probably did plead out at some point. From what we've seen for we know so far if in -- you weren't go to trial what was the possibly that he could possibly be deemed incompetent to stand trial. I think that's going to be a tough one to overcome. I mean when you look at when people commit crimes despite may be whether they have a psychiatric history or not. Is that. Did they methodically think out the crime committed. And then -- sort of go through it step by step people who are literally out of their minds. Have difficulty doing that because they can't stay focused that long but he -- planet. At least take the knives to school decide what he was going to do and start the attack so. I think it'd be very difficult. To end up with an insanity. Fence so the investigation is underway right now and investigators have gathered his phone his computer what are you looking for where they're hoping to pull from those devices. Anything that would lead to his state of mind in other words. Was he having dark thoughts. On line either through social networking or war or sites that he might be visiting. Did he look at. Stabbing people in the effects of that how to do it. Things of of that nature did he write about when he was about to do that's really not uncommon. And so I think what they're looking for is there were real dark side. In in in either computers or phones text messages. -- after. That the school says that -- -- -- safety -- last year. The fact is 22 people were injured from this when you hear about the 22 the number of 22 of those are injured. And you look at the past history how they connected -- safety drills. Is this an undisclosed gonna say we either we we succeed in the fact that no one died or if there is more protocol that -- to put -- -- place. I think did you could only do so much every time we have -- conversations about school shooters. We think about this is -- physical securities so forth in schools have improved in that area. This really goes to. How good you can get at assessing the students you have. Which in my -- schools really have to have assessment teams. And so maybe that's something -- school should think about. Art for FBI agent and ABC news consultant Brad Garrett in Washington Brad thank you for your time appreciate it. -- -- and of course you can keep up in real time with this story by downloading the ABC news -- and starring the story for exclusive updates on the go. For now -- -- down Cutler -- New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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