A 17-year-old boy is in custody after allegedly stabbing another in the back at the Fort Dodge Senior High homecoming dance Saturday.
Fort Dodge Police were called to the school at 10:50 p.m. Saturday on a report that someone had been stabbed during the dance.
According to a report from the Police Department, two officers on the scene found school officials administering first aid to a 17-year-old boy who had been stabbed once in the back. Due to the victim's age, police were not initially releasing his name.
A friend of the family identified the victim as Lucas Fiala, 17, of Knierim. He is a senior at Manson Northwest Webster High School.
Fiala was transported to Trinity Regional Medical Center for treatment. Due to the nature of his injuries he was airlifted to a Des Moines hospital for additional treatment. Initial reports indicated that the victim's injuries were not life-threatening.
The suspect, who fled the school prior to officers' arrival, was identified and apprehended with the help of witnesses.
Due to his age, that person has not been identified, other than being a 17-year-old male from Fort Dodge. He was charged with willful injury, a Class C felony, and transported to a juvenile facility to await his initial court appearance.
The school sent a message to all parents about the incident, said Jennifer Lane, director of communications for the Fort Dodge Community School District.
"As always the safety of our students is our top priority," Lane said. "We'll continue to take every precaution and do everything in our power to ensure that our students are safe in the classroom and at their activities.
"We want our students to understand that this one incident doesn't define us as a school district."
There will be counselors available at the high school today to help students with their feelings and concerns, she said.
Michael Olson, a junior at Fort Dodge Senior High, was at the homecoming dance when the incident occurred. The alleged stabbing happened about 10 minutes before the dance was scheduled to end at 11 p.m.
"All of a sudden everyone started crowding around," he said. "It got really quiet. Then word got around that something happened."
At first, Olson said, he thought it was just a fight, but at one point, someone screamed, "Someone got stabbed."
"Some people started crying," he said. "We were all just really shocked."
Olson said he still felt safe because he heard that the suspect had run off. Next, a teacher announced over the microphone for everyone to evacuate and tried to keep everyone calm.
"I feel like everyone had an adrenaline rush going, so they didn't know how to respond."
The Police Department will update its report once more information becomes available.
Officers and detectives will continue to interview additional witnesses and follow up on any additional information. Anyone with information about this incident should contact the Fort Dodge Police Department at 573-1426 or Crime Stoppers at 573-1444 (STOP), online at www.wccrimestoppers.com or by texting "LEC" and the tip to CRIMES (274637).
The Police Department was assisted by the Fort Dodge Fire Department, UnityPoint Ambulance Service, and several staff members of Fort Dodge Senior High School.