(OREM, Utah) — The parents of the teen accused of stabbing his classmates at a Utah high school have spoken out about their son’s actions and offered an apology to the victims.
On Tuesday night, the Orem Police Department in Orem, Utah, posted a letter online that it says is from the parents of the 16-year-old suspect.
“We have met with the suspect’s parents and they have released a statement as follows,” police said in a statement on Twitter, accompanied by a photo of the handwritten note.
The suspect’s parents wrote that “none of the victims had done anything to hurt” their son and his actions were “in no way racially or ethnically motivated.”
“We are at a loss to express how deeply sorry we are for the pain and injury caused. Our thoughts and prayers will be with the boys and their families,” the letter continued.
— Orem Police Dept. (@OremDPS) November 15, 2016
According to police, the teen stabbed five classmates in the neck and torso as they were getting ready for physical education class in the boys’ locker room at Mountain View High School on Tuesday morning around 7:47 a.m. local time. Staff members cornered the suspect until a police officer assigned to the school arrived at the scene and subdued him with a Taser. The suspect was taken into custody by 7:53 a.m., police said.
All five victims are expected to survive, with the two most seriously injured in critical but stable condition as of Tuesday night, according to hospital officials.
Due to his age, authorities have only identified the suspect as a 16-year-old white male. Police said the teen had been previously homeschooled and joined Mountain View High School this year as a sophomore.
Police said a knife with a 3-inch blade was recovered from the crime scene. The motive of the attack, however, is still not known.
“After interviewing the suspect, victims and witnesses we believe this had nothing to do with race, religion, or ethnicity. The suspect had not been bullied by any of the victims. This was not retaliatory. The victims in this case appear to have been chosen simply because of their proximity to the suspect at the time the incident started,” the Orem Police Department said in a statement on Facebook. “This was a tragic, unforeseen event that no one could have prevented. Our only hope is that we can learn from it and pray that it never happens again.”
The suspect has been released from the hospital and was being transported to Slate Canyon Detention Center on Tuesday night, according to police.
Mountain View High School was scheduled to be back in regular session Wednesday.
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