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5 Teenage Boys Allegedly Stabbed by Straight-A Classmate in School Locker Room

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A 16-year-old Utah high school sophomore allegedly stabbed five of his classmates in a brief, brutal attack at his school’s locker room Tuesday morning, PEOPLE confirms. The suspect then allegedly stabbed himself in the neck before being Tasered by police.

Authorities say the stabbings occurred just before classes were about to start at Mountain View High School in the city of Orem, Utah, about 45 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. Authorities have yet to discover a motive, with one school official describing the violence as “upsetting” and possibly unforeseeable.

The victims, all male students, were stabbed in the neck and torso, Orem Police Chief Gary Giles said at a news conference. Their injuries ranged from critical to fair, he said.

Giles said the suspect, who has not been identified, allegedly stabbed the other students using a knife with a three-inch blade before staff members confronted him and boxed him into the bathroom area of the boy’s locker room.

The school’s resource officer, who was already at the school preparing to teach a law enforcement class, used a Taser to subdue the suspect, Giles said. (It was not immediately clear if he has been charged in the attack, though he has reportedly been released from the hospital.)

Giles said investigators are still trying to figure out why the suspect, a straight-A student with excellent grades, would allegedly wage such a violent assault.

“Everyone’s scared,” one student told the Salt Lake Tribune. “There’s lots of girls crying.”

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A mother is hugged by her children outside Mountain View High School where multiple students were stabbed on Nov. 15, 2016, in Orem, Utah.
George Frey/Getty Images

In a letter released via the Orem police, the suspect’s parents shared their sorrow with the victims.

“We express our deepest condolences to the five boys who were harmed at Mountain View High School this morning and to their families,” the parents said. “None of the victims had done anything to hurt him. This was 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.”

“There are a lot of different things we need to look at for a motive,” Giles said at the news conference. “Was it a fight, is it somebody upset with somebody, is there more to it? And I don’t know the answer to that.”

Kimberly Bird, assistant to the Alpine School District’s superintendent, said the suspect had been home-schooled and was new to the high school.

“There were no prior disciplinary issues with him,” she said at the news conference.

“This is very upsetting,” she said. “As we look as a school district on things, what could we do in these type of situations or how could we have had more support, could we have seen something in this particular student? I want to share with you that some times these things are things that are unseen.”

Giles said the incident was over at 7:53 a.m. — six minutes after dispatchers received the first 911 call. (Police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)

Mountain View High School, which has around 1,300 students, was put on lockdown for about an hour after the attack.