Stabbing suspect wrote about Norse apocalypse
PITTSBURGH – The 16-year-old suspect in a mass stabbing at a Pennsylvania high school expressed his “dissatisfaction with school and society” in a document he titled “Ragnorok,” the name of a Norse end-of-the-world legend, investigators said in a search warrant affidavit unsealed Tuesday.
Westmoreland County detectives obtained the search warrant April 11, two days after 20 Franklin Regional High School students and a school security guard were stabbed. Authorities said Alex Hribal, of Murrysville, used two knives he brought from his kitchen to carry out the attacks.
The detectives got the warrant because they wanted to search Hribal’s cellphone for various information, including text messages and any websites he visited. The warrant references another one police got the day of the stabbings to search Hribal’s locker, where the cellphone was found.
Also found in the locker was the document written April 6 “in which Hribal describes his dissatisfaction with school and society. The document is entitled ‘Ragnorok’ which is a Norse Legend about the end of the world,” the affidavit said. “There are websites containing information about this legend.”
Earlier this year, USA Today and other news outlets reported tongue-in-cheek about some Viking and Norse mythology enthusiasts who believed the end of the world would occur Feb. 22.
Hribal’s attorney, Patrick Thomassey, suggested his client may have been bullied before the attacks, though he has not provided specific evidence or instances of that. Murrysville police Chief Thomas Seefeld said police have yet to find evidence that Hribal was bullied.
The first search warrant, which was unsealed in April, also referenced a note found in Hribal’s locker that read, “I can’t wait to see the priceless and helpless looks on the faces of the students of one of the ‘best schools in Pennsylvania’ realize their precious lives are going to be taken by the only one among them that isn’t a plebian.” It wasn’t clear if that text came was the document titled “Ragnorok.”
Hribal remains in the Westmoreland County juvenile detention center and faces formal arraignment July 23 on 21 counts each of attempted homicide and aggravated assault, plus a school weapons violation.
Thomassey has said he’ll ask a judge to move the case to juvenile court, where Hribal can be incarcerated or supervised only until he’s 21, instead of Common Pleas court, where Hribal faces decades in prison if convicted.