SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA (AP) – Detectives on Thursday were investigating what prompted a fight between three students at a Northern California high school that ended in one fatally stabbing another as more than two dozen classmates watched.
A 15-year-old freshman was booked on suspicion of homicide and other charges in connection with Wednesday’s fatal stabbing in an art classroom at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, California.
One 16-year-old junior was killed and another injured, police said.
The attack shocked Santa Rosa, a community best known for its wineries about 80.5 kilometres north of San Francisco and prompted lockdowns of several nearby schools as officers searched for the teenage suspect.
The school will be closed for the rest of the week.
Principal Adam Paulson, in a message to parents, students and the school community, called the stabbing “the darkest day anyone can remember at Montgomery High”, according to the Press-Democrat.
The deceased victim was identified as Jayden Jess Pienta, 16, according to Santa Rosa police.
He was a junior. The victim who survived the stabbing is also a 16-year-old junior. Jayden’s stepfather, Tom Lenwell, told KTVU he was reeling from the violence.
“I’m hurt. I’m sad. I’m never going to see Jayden again,” Lenwell told reporters. “I’m not going to be able to joke and laugh with him. Those days are gone.”
Santa Rosa Police sergeant Christopher Mahurin on Thursday said investigators are working to interview the 27 students who were inside the classroom at the time, as well as the teacher and teacher’s aides.
Officers will be on the school’s campus on Monday when it re-opens, Mahurin said.