Boy slashes girl’s throat at Montrose High School
MONTROSE — Samantha Squirrell had just walked through the front doors of Montrose High School with her older brother, Sheldon.
Her friends, sisters Mallory and Mae Haulman, were a few feet in front of them in the school’s crowded lobby. Students were shuffling in about 20 minutes before the first class bell rang Tuesday morning.
Squirrell looked down at the ground and when the 15-year-old sophomore looked back up, “I just saw Mallory’s throat bleeding everywhere. Mae was screaming, ‘Call 911!’ ”
Squirrell said several staff members surrounded Haulman, then ushered students into classrooms when the school was locked down.
Police and school administrators said a 14-year-old student at an area alternative school walked in through those same front doors about 8 a.m., grabbed Mallory Haulman from behind and slit her throat with a straight-edged weapon before running out of the building. Officers arrested the boy minutes later about three blocks from the school.
Mallory Haulman, 17, was taken to Montrose Memorial Hospital, where she underwent several hours of surgery. She was listed in serious condition Tuesday afternoon. Later in the evening, during a community meeting that drew more than 300 people to the school’s gymnasium, Montrose High
Principal Jill Myers told parents, students and faculty members that she had spoken with Haulman’s mother, Alicia.
“She’s doing well and recovering well in a favorable manner,” Myers said, drawing a round of applause from the crowd.
Officials canceled classes for the day. Classes were scheduled to resume this morning as normal.
Authorities were still gathering information about the attack and trying to determine a motive. They did not identify the suspect or clarify the type of weapon used. They also said it was unclear whether Haulman knew her assailant.
Community members who attended Tuesday evening’s hourlong meeting peppered Myers with questions, most of which centered around how the school intends to respond to the attack and whether it will step up security.
Myers said administrators plan to implement several measures today, including requiring students wanting to talk with a counselor about the attack to be escorted and not allowing students to congregate in the halls without faculty present. She said administrators will work with extra police officers to monitor the halls and the main entrance to the school.
Some people asked whether the school would install metal detectors or require students to show an ID before entering the building. Myers did not rule anything out and tried to assure the crowd that the safety of students and staff “is of utmost importance to us.” But she said the community will have to decide how far it wants to go to enhance security.
“That’s something we as a community are going to decide: How far are we going to go for protection?” Myers said.
Friends and coaches described Haulman as a sweet, quiet, athletic girl. She has played softball for two years and was a member of the girls’ track team last spring. She’s currently trying out for the girls’ basketball and swim teams, Squirrell said.
“She’s one that you can become very easily attached to,” said Joe Bollinger, the Montrose girls’ softball coach.
After crying with Mae Haulman in the minutes following the assault, Squirrell said she shook and felt like she was going to throw up as she sat in class during the lockdown.
“It’s pretty much scared me to death,” she said.