Washington. Bullied Student Fights Back

A teen accused of stabbing a classmate in the head Wednesday didn’t just lash out randomly at his victim, says a close friend of the suspect.

According to the friend, stabbing suspect Josh Shirley, 18, had been repeatedly bullied by the classmate. The friend believes Shirley just couldn’t take it anymore.

“Every day he’s been really bullying him,” said Shirley’s friend, Adam McCrary. “Really just giving him crap. Just making his name bad and stuff like that.”

That contradicts what Shirley himself told police after the attack – that he had picked out his victim at random.

According to Sgt. Mike Blair of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Shirley told investigators that “there were no issues between the two before this.”

There was no way to immediately reconcile the two dramatically different versions of the motive for the attack.

The stabbing occurred in the band room area at Liberty Junior High School just before 11 a.m.

Shirley allegedly pulled out a picketknife and stabbed the victim several times in the head, ear and neck.

“Clearly it was not racial, clearly it was not gang related,” said Tom Seigel, the Bethel Schools Superintendent. “The individual just decided to do a random act of violence for no apparent good reason apparently picking on someone he didn’t really know that well either.”

The student was rushed to Tacoma General Hospital, but the injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. He was expected to be released soon.

Blair said Shirley quickly surrendered and the knife used in the stabbing has been recovered.

“We actually had a deputy in the school working, and she was there immediately and the suspect gave himself up and laid down on the floor,” Blair said.

Spanaway High School students are attending class at Liberty while Spanaway High undergoes renovation.

The stabbing was witnessed by about 30 other students but no other students were injured. Administrators decided to evacuate the school and cancel classes for the rest of the day as deputies investigate the stabbing.


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