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Update: Student charged in stabbing at South Greene High

By Angela Yingling
Published On: Sep 24 2013 04:35:29 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 24 2013 04:42:23 PM CDT

One student is in the hospital and another in jail facing attempted first degree murder charges after a stabbing Tuesday morning at South Greene High School.

GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. -

One student is in the hospital and another in jail facing attempted first degree murder charges after a stabbing Tuesday morning at South Greene High School.

Greene County Deputies say the stabbing happened before school started, while students were having breakfast in the cafeteria.

The suspect is a 16-year-old male student at the school. He's accused of using a knife to stab a 15-year-old male student.

Sheriff’s deputies say it happened around 8 a.m. just before the start of school. "The assailant, it appears that he was at a table behind the victim, that he got up, pulled a knife from his waistband, walked over to the other table, and started stabbing the victim from the back," says Greene County Sheriff Steve Burns.

Sheriff Burns believes the suspect brought the knife from home.

The victim was flown to the hospital. Director of Schools Dr. Vicki Kirk tells us he's in stable condition and she believes the incident was isolated. "The situation was taken under control very quickly. No other students were in danger," says Kirk.

Even so, the school went into lockdown mode and an alert went out to parents county-wide. "It happened very quickly and it was contained very quickly, so I think the staff and faculty did a very good job of taking care of both students," adds Kirk.

The school lock down was lifted shortly after the incident. Extra counselors were called in to help students and staff.

School leaders and deputies tell us a school safety officer was on school property at the time, but was outside while buses were unloading.

Sheriff Burns credits a fellow student for stepping in to help take control of the situation. "There was actually a female student that jumped up from the table and more or less tackled the assailant. Some other students and the staff got there and came in, but she did a good job," he said.

Many parents opted to take their children out of school early Tuesday, but Dr. Kirk says the school tried to continue as much as they could. "We're just going to proceed normally. We may have extra counseling staff on hand because it was traumatic for the kids that witnessed it."

The 16-year-old suspect is now behind bars; charges are pending.

District Attorney General Berkley Bell says this is a case where the 16-year-old could be transferred from juvenile court to adult court. At that time, his name and picture would be released.

Right now no one will say anything about a possible motive.