His is perhaps the most public face of all the victims -- with 13,000 followers on Instagram as of Thursday night. When Nathan Scimio posted a "selfie" several hours after the stabbings, pointing to a wound on his right arm, and a comment, "Chillin' at Children's" [Hospital], the Twittersphere lit up with praise and derision.
A 16-year-old sophomore at Franklin Regional High School, Nathan was called a hero by Police Chief Thomas Seefeld, who didn't name him but praised him for being the first to yell that he'd been stabbed and then, to pull the fire alarm, an action that probably prevented stabbings and saved lives. Several eyewitnesses said he pulled a girl out of the attacker's way.
A member of the school's varsity soccer team, Nate lives in the Holiday Park section of Murrysville, in a neat brick house with a basketball hoop in the driveway. On Thursday his father, David Scimio, stood at the front door and politely explained that the family had decided not to talk to the media.
Nate's Instagram account shows pictures of him with Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller and of a trip to Disney World, and comments were encouraging -- "Prayers from Upper St. Clair, not too far from frhs what u did was great -- jackdlp'" "I go to Norwin so what happened is close to home. ... GET BETTER YOU ARE A HERO -- aaall_." Elsewhere on the Internet, commenters were less admiring of the selfie he posted so soon after the incident, seeming to make light of his situation when other victims were suffering possibly life-threatening injuries.
His defenders said this is the way teens communicate today and Nate was merely telling his friends he was all right. To his neighbor Charlie Roslund, at least, Nate is "an upstanding, respectful young man" who behaved heroically.
"We're a close neighborhood," said Mr. Roslund, who lives down the street from the Scimios, "but we're letting them have their privacy. What he did was remarkable."
Mackenzie Carpenter, firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1949. On Twitter @MackenziePG.
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