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CNN Today

Man Attacks Several People in Pennsylvania Elementary School

Aired February 2, 2001 - 1:53 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: Late development -- a story coming to us from York, Pennsylvania. Here at CNN we've learned that a man wielding a bat and a knife entered an elementary school there in York, Pennsylvania this morning. The school was Winterstown Elementary School. He attacked several people, injured some adults and a couple of students as well, we are told. The town of York is about 25 miles south of Harrisburg.

And joining us now from York is Patrick McFadden, he's the executive director of emergency services for York County in Pennsylvania.

Mr. McFadden, what can you tell us about the attack now and the condition of those who are hurt?

PATRICK MCFADDEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY SERVICES, YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA: Well our 911 department, of course we -- as you do in all these situations, you get conflicting information, but our 911 department has indicated that four individuals have received treatment; two were women, ages 52 and 33 years of age who sustained minor arm lacerations. A third was a woman aged 41 who was listed in transport as borderline between stable and serious.

And we were then later advised that one of the parents had transported one of the students who we understand is a young girl to a local pediatric health care facility for treatment. And at the moment, we are not aware of what injuries may have been involved there.

CHEN: But in the case of that young girl, she was not taken to an emergency room, in any case. So, presumably, her injuries are not life threatening.

MCFADDEN: That's correct; hopefully they weren't.

CHEN: What can you tell us about the actual attack itself? It happened in an elementary school; was it an adult person coming in?

MCFADDEN: Yes; apparently -- the information we received was that -- at 11:32 a.m. we received a call that a male adult had entered the elementary school that, basically, was locked down and followed one of the parents into the school and was, at that time, chasing the building principal down the hall with a bat and a large knife, described as a machete. CHEN: A bat -- like a baseball bat?

MCFADDEN: That's correct.

CHEN: And did this attack take place in classrooms? You said this person was chasing the principal down the hall; did they go into classrooms?

MCFADDEN: We haven't received any information with respect to what actually occurred inside of the building.

CHEN: What's the situation at the school now? Have they locked it down? Are they concerned about somebody else -- someone else being involved in the attack?

MCFADDEN: No, at this -- at the moment my understanding is that the school district has advised all the students, parents, to pick them up or are transporting them home. Local police, Pennsylvania state police are all on the scene. Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor and governor and our local county commissioners, of course, have been advised and are being updated each moment.

CHEN: I don't know what you know about the local schools and how they're handled, but is it common for people -- you said this person must have follow a parent into the school. Would many doors in the building be open? Would there be access to strangers?

MCFADDEN: My understanding is that -- and it's sketchy -- that the entire building was locked down for security purposes. So I'm not exactly sure how the perpetrator got in other than the information we've received, was they followed a parent inside.

CHEN: Do you know how many kids attend this school?

MCFADDEN: No, we don't have that information.

CHEN: But it is an elementary school; so, presumably, smaller children?

MCFADDEN: Correct, it is an elementary school.

CHEN: And can you go back through there -- at the beginning you said that this was just an attack that occurred at 11:30 -- this person just came in off the street? There's no indication whether this person was a parent of someone at the school or anything else?

MCFADDEN: No; at this time, as I said, they are in custody and I understand that the police, of course, are questioning the suspect; but we don't have any information regarding any motive for the incident at this time.

CHEN: All right; just to update our viewers on all of this: we're getting this information from Patrick McFadden of York County, Pennsylvania, explaining to us that this morning -- about 11:30 in the morning -- a man came into a school -- Winterstown Elementary School in York, Pennsylvania. He attacked several people. According to Mr. McFadden, the early reports are that this person was bearing a baseball bat and a machete, according to Mr. McFadden, and that he ran after a principal in the building, was following him through the hall. The late reports they're getting are that at least two adult women suffered minor arm injuries as a result of this person's attack and a third adult is in stable to serious condition, being treated locally there in York, Pennsylvania.

They are also told that a student, a young girl who is a student at Winterstown Elementary School was taken by her parent to a local pediatric facility, but apparently not with any sort of life- threatening injuries -- not sent to an emergency room.

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