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Student stabbed at O.C. high school

September 8, 2009 9:13:11 AM PDT
A high school in La Habra was on lockdown after a student was stabbed on Tuesday.Authorities said the student that was stabbed at Sonora High School at 401 S. Palm St. was taken to UCI Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

The teenage victim is expected to survive.

Police responded to the school at about 7:40 a.m. after a 17-year-old male student was stabbed by another teenager outside a classroom on campus.

The campus was put on lockdown for more than two hours while police did a room-by-room search for the suspect, but they were unable to locate him. Authorities are not sure if the suspect is a student at the school.

"That allowed us to safely go and check the building to see if we could find someone that didn't belong there," said Cindy Knapp, a La Habra Police spokesperson.

The suspect was described only as male between the age of 17 and 19.

Kandis Swaby says her sister witnessed the stabbing and then sent her a text message.

"Everybody was scared so my mom contacted the office and stuff telling somebody got stabbed," said Swaby.

"I was scared too. I was saying to my teacher to make sure to lock the door," she explained.

A number of worried parents were outside the school, wondering what was going on with their children. School officials and La Habra police were not talking during the lockdown.

"It is very frustrating. I'll tell you frankly, there is something wrong ... in this school," said parent Fasil Jomaa.

Parent Katherine Connaghan said she wished school officials would have kept parents informed.

"I understand that they're doing an investigation, but this is part of what's the problem," she said. "I don't mean to bring up bad news, but Columbine, wasn't that part of the problem? That they didn't communicate, I thought we learned from that."

"Well generally when we have an incident like this going on, we're going to try to make sure we have correct information before we relay anything out to the media," said Knapp. "That was our biggest concern is that the information that we relayed was correct and accurate."

Just before 10 a.m. the lockdown was lifted and parents were allowed to see their children.

La Habra police say they are looking into whether the stabbing might be gang related.

Meantime, they continue to search for the suspect. No arrest has been made.

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