A 16-year-old student at Coatesville Area Senior High School surrendered to police and was charged with attempted murder after allegedly stabbing a classmate multiple times in a school bathroom this week in a fight over a stolen vape cartridge, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.
The alleged knife attack Tuesday morning turned the Chester County high school into an “active crime scene,” resulting in the hospitalization of a 16-year-old victim with non-life-threatening injuries and students sent home early. Authorities said Oddell Cannon turned himself in to Caln Township police later that day.
Cannon, a sophomore at the school, was charged as an adult with first-degree attempted murder, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, possession of a weapon on school property, possessing instruments of crime, and related charges, according to the district attorney’s office. He is being held at the Chester County Youth Center, the office said.
In a statement, Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan called Tuesday “a horrific day for school students and their families.”
“Not long after Oddell Cannon violently stabbed a classmate at [Coatesville Area Senior High School], another young man wreaked horror on a school in Texas,” Ryan said, noting that her office will hold Cannon “responsible for his actions to the fullest extent of the law.”
“This must end. And it must end now,” Ryan said. “Parents should never have to worry when they send their children to school. Children should feel safe and protected while inside school walls.”
Police said the stabbing occurred just before 7:30 a.m. at the high school, where a witness told investigators that the two teens arranged to fight each other in a bathroom. The victim believed Cannon had stolen a vape cigarette cartridge from him, police said.
They initially met in a second-floor bathroom, but a teacher intervened and dispersed the crowd that had gathered to watch, according to the criminal complaint. The two teens and spectators then moved to a different bathroom, where they began fighting in a stall — a scene partially captured by video posted to social media — police said. Authorities said that video shows Cannon gripping an item in his right hand, stabbing it three times into the victim’s lower back.
Police said Cannon then fled from the bathroom with a bleeding hand, leaving a trail of blood down a staircase and disposing of a blood-covered folding knife in the sink of another bathroom before exiting the school.
A witness told investigators he saw the victim bleeding from his neck in the bathroom and heard him say, “Bro, he stabbed me.” The victim was left with six stab wounds to his neck, shoulder, armpit, and lower back, police said. The district attorney’s office said the teen is recovering from the injuries at Paoli Hospital.
Following the incident, substitute district superintendent Rick Dunlap said in a statement that the school was secured by police and was “an active crime scene,” leading to dismissal around 9:30 a.m. Students were interviewed as they exited the school, Dunlap said.
“Clearly, this is an extremely upsetting incident,” Dunlap wrote, adding that the district plans to follow up with counseling for students and staff.