Victim is okay; attempted murder charge is expected
Superintendent Dr. Pamela Stephens reported Tuesday afternoon that a male student at the Adair County Middle School is accused of assaulting another student with a knife in the restroom.
Stephens said the victim was not seriously injured. Columbia Police Chief Jr. Murphy said in a phone interview that the victim did not require immediate medical care and his parents went to the school and would determine if any treatment was necessary.
Stephens said in a press release and an automated phone call that the school was put on a soft lockdown due to the incident.
Chief Murphy was at the justice center and taking part in the investigation when he was interviewed. While early in the investigation, he said he believed the victim was able to get away from the assailant and seek help. Most of his injuries were in his hand from blocking the pocketknife from penetrating his throat. Murphy said he expects the 13-year-old male accused of the assault to be charged with attempted murder.
Columbia Police Department is investigating and is expected to issue a press release Wednesday.
Dr. Stephens said she wanted parents to be informed so they could talk with their children and address any concerns.
“If your child has concerns, we encourage them to speak to someone, whether at home or at school. Principals, counselors and teachers are wonderful people to help console students and make them feel wanted and safe in our buildings. Please know that we have several safety precautions in place and always want our students, parents and staff to know that safety is our top priority,” she said.
Stephens also said action like this will not be tolerated in the school system “and any issues that poses a safety concern to our students or staff will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law.”