NEW YORK (AP) — A high school student
who’d been fighting with two classmates suddenly attacked them
with a switchblade during history class Wednesday, killing one
boy and gravely wounding another, police said.
The melee unfurled about 15 minutes
into third period at the Urban
Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation,
a middle and high school in the Bronx, the
New York Police Department said.
Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce
said an 18-year-old stabbed a 15-year-old
once in the chest and a 16-year-old in the chest and side. The
15-year-old died at a hospital; the 16-year-old is in critical
but stable condition.
The 18-year-old then walked out
into the hallway, where he met a counselor and handed her a
bloodied switchblade, police said. He went to the assistant
principal’s office and quietly sat waiting for the authorities to
arrive, Boyce said.
About 15 to 20 other students were
in the classroom, but no one else was injured, Boyce said.
Students described tense moments
huddled in closets and in classrooms while
the school was locked down, wondering what
“The guidance counselor couldn’t
even keep herself calm,” said eighth-grader Abbie Mincey. The
counselor told them: “I’ve never seen so much blood in my
Boyce said the 18-year-old was
being questioned by police. Authorities were looking into whether
the teen had been bullied, but it appeared his dispute with the
victims had been going on for about two weeks, Boyce said. The
students had been tossing paper at one another shortly before
the stabbing, authorities said.
Angry parents, some in tears,
gathered outside the school demanding they
be allowed to pick up their children. Parents said they were
forced to wait for hours in fear.
“I’m very upset. No one wants to
send a child to school to be in danger,”
said Rosalyn Valoy, who picked up her fourth-grade daughter about
four hours after the stabbing.
Police and emergency crews swarmed
the red brick building that also houses a public
elementary school for a total of about
1,100 students. The building does not require children to pass
through metal detectors.
Denise Jackson, the mother of a
high school freshman, said she was
“She hasn’t been here for a month
yet. I don’t know if I want to keep her here,” she said. “I just
Chief Joanne Jaffe, head of NYPD’s
community affairs, said about
75 schools around the district are
equipped with metal detectors, and they would do random sweeps of
all schools for the time being. New York
has the nation’s largest school district,
with more than 1 million students.
Giselle Estevez, the mother of 9-
and 13-year-old girls, said she’d seen violence at
the school before and this latest attack
was the final straw. She plans to pull her daughters out
“There is too much fighting, too
many older boys,” she said in Spanish. “Look at my child, she is
small, 9 years, and the other 13 … And they’re crying,
wondering what is going on, and
the school didn’t even call me.”
It’s the first homicide on New York
City school grounds since 2014, when a
fight between two 14-year-old boys ended with
one stabbed to death outside
Intermediate School 117 in the Bronx. The
last time someone was killed inside
a school was at least 20 years ago.
Mayor Bill de Blasio
and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said
they were saddened by the attack and understood the fear parents
“All of us are feeling this tragedy
very personally,” said de Blasio, a Democrat.