Man files suit against high school 3 years after vicious stabbing

SPANAWAY, Wash. -- A former Spanaway Lake High School student who survived a horrific knife attack at the hands of another student is now suing the school.

Lukas Thompson was viciously stabbed at school three years ago, and he believes the school could have prevented it.

His physical wounds have healed, but he said the emotional wounds never will.

Now 21-years old, Thompson claims Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has made it impossible to attend college, have successful relationships and launch a career in the Air Force.

"I guess the biggest change since I was attacked is my sense of security," he said. "I don't feel secure anywhere I go -- nowhere."

Thompson's former classmate, Joshua Shirley, is still in prison for the crime. Investigators say he repeatedly stabbed Thompson in the head and neck with a 13-inch knife he had smuggled into band class.

"A pretty horrific attack that we believe was preventable," said attorney Eric Krening.

Krening claims the Bethel School District is negligent for failing to intervene in a problem that was developing into a powder keg. He said Shirley had been the victim of bullying at school, but insists his client never took part in that alleged abuse.

"Just an innocent target who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when this young man lost control and exploded," he said.

The Bethel School District will not comment specifically about Thompson's lawsuit, but officials clearly remember the attack.

"We empathize with him and we are saddened to hear he's continuing to experience difficulties," said Krista Carlson with the school district.

District officials say they investigate all reports of bullying, but Thompson claims the school missed one case that nearly cost him his life.

"I just think the school should be held accountable," he said.

Thompson is asking for damages to cover medical care, counseling, physical therapy and emotional pain. The suit also names Shirley as a defendant.
close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off