The 15-year-old girl accused of stabbing two classmates at Snohomish High School has a history of mental illness and may be tried as an adult, a probation counselor told Judge Michael Downes, who set the girl's bail at $1 million after calling her an extreme risk to the Everett community.
The sophomore girl, whom prosecutors say had been planning the attack over the weekend, was arrested Oct. 24 after attacking two teen girls in a gym bathroom, stabbing the Snohomish High School freshmen with one of two knives around 7:25 a.m.
Following the brutal attacks, the Everett-based school, some 35 miles from Seattle, Wash. was placed on temporary lock-down. Staff and parents helped police evacuate the students and identify the suspect, whom a male student confronted after hearing screams and seeing the teen standing over one of her victims.
One of the girls attacked by the high school sophomore on Oct. 24 was critically injured, receiving between 20 and 25 stabbing wounds. After six hours of intensive surgery to her lungs and heart, her status was moved to serious condition. Cheri Russum, a spokeswoman for Providence Regional Medicial Center in Everett, said the girl remained in intensive care.
The second victim of the attacks received a defensive wound to her arm, a shallow gash that was treated at the hospital on Oct. 24.
Prosecutors have until Wednesday to file official charges, which will likely be first-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault with a deadly weapon. According to court records, the girl, whose name has been withheld due to her status as a juvenile, has had a history of mental health problems, and is currently on medication for an unspecified condition.
Judge Michael Downes, saying the teen posed an extreme risk to the Everett community, placed her bail at $1 million after an initial hearing for first-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, and second-degree assault in juvenile court.
During the hearing, the 15-old-year sophomore girl looked briefly at her parents, who were crying, but said nothing in response to the judge's comments. When told that the first victim had suffered life-threatening injuries, the Snohomish High School stabbing suspect was similarly indifferent. She didn't care one way or the other, police reported.
There will be another hearing soon to determine whether the girl, due to her history of mental health problems and the seriousness of the allegations, will be charged as an adult rather than as a juvenile.
No Motive: In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time.
Snohomish Police Chief John Turner has heard many theories about the girl's motives in the Snohomish High School stabbing, but says the rumors currently circulating are largely untrue. The injured teens appear to be victims of a random attack, and there is no evidence the two freshman girls had had any prior contact with the suspect.
The 15-year-old sophomore accused of the stabbings told detectives she had been planning to stab someone at Snohomish High School since the weekend, arming herself with two large kitchen knives from her father's house before school on Monday.
The girl then went to a stall in the girl's bathroom in an auxiliary gym building, waiting for people to leave.
Spotting a possible target in the girl's bathroom, detectives say the girl made eye contact with her first victim, who was brushing her teeth before class, before launching at her with one of the kitchen knives, stabbing her repeatedly. The victim's friend screamed for help and tried to intervene, suffering a minor cut to the forearm.
[The girls] were in the wrong place at the wrong time, she told police, supporting the conclusion that she chose her victims at random.
There are a lot of false stories out there, Turner said, but the suspect offered no reasonable explanation for her actions.
The victims in question had been friends since they were children. Fellow student described the teens as nice, kind, and caring.
In a surprise twist to most cases of high school violence, however, the stabbing suspect was also described as a sweet and caring person. For someone whom Everett prosecutors allege has a long and sordid history of mental illness, she lacked the usual markers of morose humor and loner status the stereotype usually portrays.
She is really quiet, Olivia Juel, 15, told The Seattle Post Intelligencer, but she is nice and actually very funny.
Other students similarly expressed shock at the stabbing, which occured the same day that Snohomish High was recognized as the most spirited high school in Western Washington. It's scary that it happened at school, said a boy, 14, who wished to remain anonymous.