California 16-year-old high school student stabbed to death in classroom

A 16-year-old student involved in a fight at a Northern California high school was fatally stabbed inside a packed classroom on Wednesday, officials said.

Another student was also stabbed and a 15-year-old suspect is in custody, according to Santa Rosa police. All the three students are male.

Santa Rosa Police Chief John Cregan said during a news conference that the two victims, both juniors at Montgomery High School, came to an art class around 11:15 a.m. and began fighting with the freshman. There were about 30 people in the class.

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The chief said the teachers initially broke up the fight but the new student took out a folding knife and stabbed the juniors.

Cregan said the juniors went to the school nurse and were conscious when both were taken to the hospital. But a teenager, who had three stab wounds to his upper body, died on the spot.

Owen Seiberling, a senior, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he accompanied the 16-year-old to the school’s office and tried to apply pressure to her wounds.

“I had to pick him up, he was bleeding,” said the Cyberling.

The chief said the other student is suspected to have been stabbed in his left hand. Junior was not armed.

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Cregan said the freshman fled and was later found hiding in a creek bed and taken into custody. Investigators are still looking for the folding knife.

The three students appear to know each other and have fought before, but Cregan said it was not immediately clear what led to Wednesday’s fight.

“It appears that there were some previous fights between these students,” Cregan said without providing additional details.

The names of the students were not immediately released.

“This is truly a sad day. The tragedy that happened here today is heartbreaking,” Santa Rosa City Schools Superintendent Anna Trunell said at the news conference.

Several students raised questions about their safety at the news conference and asked why school officials had not done more to stop the students’ behavior despite knowing there were problems between the three teens. Instead of answering, the officers walked out.

Officials previously said there were no metal detectors or police officers inside any schools in the district.

“We are going to assess how we support our students and make sure they know this is a safe place and we will examine how exactly we are going to do that,” Trunell said. .

The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reported that the district’s board voted in 2020 to “pause” the school resource officer program pending review, but the department is struggling to get back inside classrooms.

“In 2022, SRPD responded to 945 calls for service to schools in Santa Rosa. Our city is feeling the effects of not having school resource officers on campus,” the Santa Rosa Police Officers Association, the union representing the department’s rank-and-file officers, wrote on Facebook after Wednesday’s violence.

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