14-Year-Old Stabbed to Death at East Los Angeles Middle School

By City News Service

A 14-year-old high school student was fatally stabbed outside Griffith Middle School in East Los Angeles Friday.

A 13-year-old was arrested at his home in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon. He was taken to the East Los Angeles sheriff’s station and booked for suspicion of murder, sheriff’s officials said.

The identity of the suspect was not immediately released, but officials said he is possibly a gang member.

Firefighters responded at 3:08 p.m. Friday to a report of a stabbing victim on the school steps and took the youth to County-USC Medical Center, a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau has identified the victim as 14-year-old Steven Cruz.

Los Angeles Unified School District spokeswoman Monica Carazo said the victim was stabbed by another boy as he stood on the perimeter of school grounds immediately after classes let out for the day.

Daryl Strickland, another LAUSD representative, said the victim was a student at Garfield High School.

“Early reports said the victim was stabbed with scissors, but that has been changed to a sharp object,” Strickland said.

The identity of the suspect is not known, but was described by Lt. Holly Francisco of the Sheriff’s Dept. as a male Hispanic juvenile. It was unclear if or where he attended school.

Sheriff’s homicide detectives were dispatched to investigate the killing.

Cruz was walking home when he stopped by the middle school to see friends, the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s station reported.

The suspect, a gang member, asked Cruz where he was from, a common tactic by gang members to determine gang affiliation, then stabbed him in the torso, according to KCAL.

Cruz was described as a good student who enjoyed skateboarding.

Griffith Middle School parents were notified of the death by a recorded audio message, Carazo said.

The school, just starting its after school program, was locked down after the stabbing “to ensure the students’ safety by making sure the grounds were safe and to give authorities a chance to see if anyone witnessed the fatality,” Strickland said.

Parents, hearing news of the stabbing rushed to the school but were not immediately allowed to speak with their student.

“Parents and students were brought to the auditorium so they could hear more about why it was important to keep students later than usual,” he said, adding that students were to be released one at a time to ensure that they were going home with a family member. Parents were not allowed to speak with their children during the lockdown.

Crisis counselors will be available to students at Griffith Middle School and Garfield High School on Monday, LAUSD officials said.

Update Sat., Jan. 24, 9:30pm. Story updated with information of arrest made in the murder.

Correction Mon., Jan. 26, 10 a.m. An earlier version of the story incorrectly referred to the stabbing as a shooting.

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January 24, 2015  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

Comments

2 Responses to “14-Year-Old Stabbed to Death at East Los Angeles Middle School”

  1. rene on January 26th, 2015 11:24 am

    Parents, hearing news of the shooting rushed to the school but were not immediately allowed to speak with their student.

    Shooting too? Wow!

  2. Editor on January 26th, 2015 12:21 pm

    The error has been corrected.

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