A teenage Bronx student has been killed and another is said to be in critical, but stable, condition after they were both stabbed in the chest, by a fellow student in the middle of class at their New York City school this morning, police said.
The suspect, an 18-year-old Abel Cedeneo was taken into custody after stabbing and killing Matthew McCree, 15, and severely wounding Ariane LaBoy, 16. Cedeneo is being interviewed after the deadly incident in the Bronx building, which houses the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation and PS67.
Police said the stabbing took place at approximately 10:50 a.m., and appears to have been the result of an argument involving the three students. The argument had been going on for about two weeks. The dispute among the three students turned shockingly violent during a history class on the fifth floor on Wednesday, in front of about 20 other students. Eighteen-year-old Cedeneo snapped after repeatedly being bullied over his personality, according to a friend and former student.
Witnesses said the situation in the classroom escalated when Matthew McCree flicked a pencil at Cedeneo and Cedeneo proceeded to attack him. Sixteen-year-old, Ariane LaBoy was slashed while trying to come to Matthew’s defense.
Shortly after the attack, the school building went on lockdown, and the police rushed to the scene. Many police commanders were in the Bronx already for a ceremony naming a street in honor of a police sergeant who was slain while on duty there last November.
At the scene, police recovered a knife with a three-inch blade and a four-inch handle.
Police officials said the school does not have metal detectors, adding that this knife would have been picked up if there were.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke about the tragedy.
“Our hearts are very heavy right now. My heart goes out to the families who have been affected by this tragedy.”
Information is still being gathered but officials did say there will be random checks with metal detectors starting tomorrow and additional school safety officials will be brought in.
Outside the school on Wednesday afternoon, parents gathered, frightened and angry, demanding their children be released from inside the building.
An already tense situation was only made worse when a scuffle broke out between anxious parents seeking news about their children. Kevin Sampson, the school’s dean, stood with his head in his hands. He had performed CPR on the student who died, he said.
“Two of my students got stabbed and one of them died. It was about what it’s always about, bullying,” he said.
At the moment, no charges have been filed against the 18-year-old suspect; a city official said detectives have not been able to contact the suspect’s mother because she is believed to be in Puerto Rico and has not been heard from since Hurricane Maria.
[Featured Image by Bebeto Matthews/AP Images]