PALM HARBOR, Fla. - Investigators in Pinellas County are still trying to piece together a stabbing incident at a Bay area school. They want to know what led a 13-year-old boy to stab a school resource officer at Joseph Carwise Middle School.
Officials say the officer, Kenneth Fridlund, was checking on a call about suspicious activity in the boy's bathroom. That's when the teen, who had gasoline-filled bottles, lashed out and stabbed him several times.
Fridlund is expected to be okay.
But many questions remain. Like what caused the middle-schooler to bring a knife to school? What drove the model student to make those fire-bombs?
Those who know the boy said what he is accused of is out of character for him and many in his community believe something went terribly wrong.
“I mean, for him to be driven to do this, it must have been so bad. Then to keep it all inside and never tell his grandmother?” expressed the boy’s neighbor, Billie Smith.
The suspect lives with his grandmother in an Oldsmar community of 55 and older. To the neighbors, he was everyone's grandson. They considered him a hard-working Boy Scout with good grades. They believe the 7th-grader was bullied.
“He's just not someone who would've done something like that just for the hell of it,” said neighbor Pat Sullivan.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's office couldn't grant reporters an interview, but Sergeant Thomas Nestor said they haven't interviewed anyone who said the boy was bullied.
Although there have been numerous remarks to the contrary from kids who attend school with him. “My son said that he knows he was bullied some,” said one parent.
“They were just bullying him because he was wearing the outfit to school and stuff,” said another student.
In fact, most students who were interviewed said the 7th grader was picked on because he wore his Boy Scout uniform to school.
The Sheriff's Office said bullying was not a focus of their investigation, despite the fact it could point to a possible motive.
The Sheriff’s Office said they know what the boy did, and that is all they are investigating.
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