MARTINEZ, Calif. (KTVU and wires) - A Martinez middle school student was stabbed in a school locker room in an unprovoked attack on Thursday, school officials said.
Police and fire personnel responded at 11:17 a.m. to the 800 block of Susana Street, according to a dispatcher at the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.
Concerned parents wasted no time picking up their children early from school.
"It's the one place you expect them to be safe and this is small town Martinez," Theresa Andrews, a parent, said. "It's like, okay, it happens here too."
Another mother is curious about the motive behind the stabbing.
"Why did it happen, that's what I want to know," Amy Guthrie said. "Why did he have a knife?"
According to police the stabbing was carried out by a 13-year-old who walked out of the locker room and immediately told an adult what he did.
"I guess [the suspect] was being bullied and I guess the day before he wanted to hurt them," Jyseille Gabiola, a student, said. "They thought it was a joke and just laughed it off."
Authorities said the victim, an 11-year-old boy, was stabbed once in the back. EMS crews rushed the boy from an ambulance to a helicopter and airlifted him to a hospital. He is expected to be okay.
Superintendent of the Martinez Unified School District Rami Muth said the incident was in no way the norm.
"This is a horrific even and not something we see in our schools," she said.
When asked about the bullying claims, Muth said there was no evidence to support that allegation. She said she looked at the case files of both students and it appeared the attack was unprovoked.
"We have no knowledge that the students even knew each other," she added. "There was no incident that precipitated the act."
Muth said mental health counselors were brought in to help students and parents were notified about the incident through phone and email.
The teenage suspect it being held a juvenile hall on one charge of assault with a deadly weapon. Although it is too soon to know what disciplinary action the school may take, Muth said the boy could be suspended or expelled depending on the outcome of the investigation.