Classmate: Suspect Offered After-School Help By Danvers Teacher Before Slaying

A classmate of murder suspect Philip D. Chism said that in the hours before the killing the 14-year-old boy was offered some after-school academic help from the teacher he is now accused of killing.

Colleen RItzer, a popular 24-year-old math teacher, reportedly tried to connect with Chism, who was doodling in class during an assignment.

Freshman Rania Rhaddaoui said Ritzer commented in his drawing, then asked if he could stay after school for help. The murder suspect agreed without seeming agitated, his classmate said.

“If you looked like you were struggling, you could always stay after,” Rhaddaoui said, saying that the after-school help was not punishment.

A friend later told Rhaddaoui that she saw Chism and Ritzer together in a classroom at 3:15 pm, but that no one witnessed the alleged box cutter attack that took Colleen Ritzer’s life.

“It’s a brand new school,” the classmate of the murder suspect said, “and nobody heard or saw anything until it was too late.”

Police said Chism went to a movie after the killing and was later found at 12:30 am walking along a highway. Ritzer was reported missing at 11:17 pm on Tuesday, and police later found blood in a bathroom and located her body.

The killing has been a shock to Danvers High School, which released a statement on the killing:

“Colleen Ritzer was a dynamic and brilliant ray of light, she was everything one could ask for in a teacher — dedicated, passionate and invested in her students. Our entire community will feel this loss for many years to come.”

Ritzer’s social media accounts showed an active and caring teacher, one eager to make a difference in the lives of her students.

“No matter what happens in life, be good to people,” she wrote. “Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”

She was also remembered for her enthusiasm for math. Riley Doyle, another classmate of suspect Philip Chism, said Ritzer “made every lesson like you wanted to learn it.”

Share this article: Classmate: Suspect Offered After-School Help By Danvers Teacher Before Slaying
More from Inquisitr