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Student stabbed in stairwell of Upper Darby High School

The stabbing occurred just before dismissal. The student's condition was not immediately known.

Upper Darby High School, where a student was stabbed Monday, June 4, 2018.
Upper Darby High School, where a student was stabbed Monday, June 4, 2018. Read moreSTEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer

An Upper Darby High School freshman was hospitalized Monday after being stabbed in a school stairwell by a classmate who appeared to be "lying in wait," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

The attack happened just before noon on the first floor of a rear stairwell at the school, Chitwood said. Surveillance cameras show the events before and after the stabbing, but not the episode itself, he said.

The 15-year-old student was stabbed in the back and suffered cuts to his head, neck, arm, and hand, Chitwood said.

After the attack, the victim first ran to the second floor and then made his way back downstairs to a lower-level nurses office, where he waited for authorities to arrive, Chitwood said. He was taken to Lankenau Medical Center. By Monday afternoon, the victim was recovering well, Chitwood said, and may even be released Monday.

Chitwood said that police have identified a person of interest, a 14-year-old male student.

"We have not made an arrest," he said, "but we will shortly."

It was not immediately clear what may have sparked the attack. Chitwood said the video cameras from inside the school did not show an altercation before the stabbing. However, Chitwood emphasized that the investigation was continuing.

The stabbing happened just before dismissal, which was earlier than usual Monday as students took exams, Chitwood said. Officers found lots of blood in the stairwell, but there were not many witnesses to the stabbing, he said.

"I am sorry to have to deliver such difficult news today," superintendent Daniel Nerelli wrote in an email notifying the school community of the stabbing, "and know that you will all join me in keeping our injured student in your thoughts and prayers."