Brother of victim: “We also pray for the suspect”

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OREM, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – One of the victims in a school stabbing was unaware he had been stabbed.
That’s according to the victim’s brother who spoke to Good4Utah.

The juvenile victim remained in the hospital for the second day after he and four of his classmates were stabbed at Mountain View High School.

A 16-year old suspect was arrested and remained in a juvenile detention center.  The Alpine School District said the suspect was a first year student at the school.

“He’s doing well,” said the victim’s brother whose name is not being released.  “He’s smiling. He’s joking around. He’s better.”

On Wednesday Orem police said they’ve interviewed the suspect but can’t share details of that interview.  But Lt. Craig Martinez said a motive is still unknown.

“I know it’s hard to understand right now,” said Lt. Martinez.  “But we do know that it has nothing to do with race, religion or ethnicity of our victims. As a matter of fact our suspect only knew one of the victim’s first name.”

The victim’s brother said it was his younger sibling who the suspect called out by name.
He said when his brother entered the locker room he heard screaming.

“As he keeps walking, he sees a guy,” said the brother. “He sees one of the guys that was stabbed on the floor.  But he didn’t know he was stabbed yet. He saw him on the floor. He saw blood all over his body but he thought it was a prank because the stabber was next to that kid.”

And as the victim got closer, the brother said he was stabbed.

“My brother fell to the ground and my brother said he felt like it was more kind of like a punch in the neck,” said the brother.  “He didn’t know he was being stabbed until he opened his eyes and then he sees the stabber stabbing another kid and so that’s when my brother was like ‘oh I got stabbed too.'”

The brother said that’s when his younger brother touched his neck, saw blood and ran out of the locker room.
In all, five were stabbed before the 16 year old was cornered and tazed according to police.

The brother of the victim said he was told by a school official that when the taser wore off, the teen stabbed himself.

“It wasn’t accidental,” said Lt. Martinez.  “It was on purpose. It was a superficial wound.”

He’s now at a Provo youth detention center.  According ot the victim’s brother, the 16 year old is known as a shy student and not very social.

“He doesn’t want to be involved in those types of (gym activities) and his classmates ask him ‘hey come join us’ but he never wants to,” said the brother.  They describe him as always mad.  He doesn’t like school.”

Tuesday the suspect’s family released a statement expressing condolences to the victims and their families.
And according to this family, the feeling is mutual.

“We also pray for the suspect,” said the suspect.  “We don’t know what he’s gone through or what made him do that.  I mean it’s all in God’s hands.”

Lt. Martinez said the 16-year old was booked into jail on five counts of aggravated attempted murder and there could be more charges.  He said detectives will meet with prosecutors later this week to screen the case for official charges.

A former prosecutor and now a defense attorney said Utah’s law allows a direct filing into adult court on serious felony charges.

“There are two factors that they’ll have to look at,” said Greg Skordas.


He said a judge will look at the teen’s criminal background which doesn’t appear to be much.  The Alpine School District claimed he was a straight A student.  Skordas said they will also look at the teen’s mental status.
 
“They’ll also get input from the victim’s family,” he said.

Skordas said the victim’s family can recommend whether they want him tried as an adult or a juvenile.  He said that’s weighed against the seriousness of the offense.

“These may be attempted homicide charges,” said Skordas. “They are very egregious offenses and weighing these two things, a prosecutor, a defense attorney, a judge will have to decide down the road whether he stays in the juvenile system or goes into the adult system.”
 

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