Updated: August 21, 2020 8:44:48 pm
A 17-year-old Michigan high school student could be facing a murder charge after she fatally stabbed a classmate Wednesday over a guy whom both had dated, police said.
The deadly clash between two “straight-A students” took place in a Fitzgerald High School classroom in suburban Detroit, Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said. A school resource officer immediately began life-saving procedures, but the 16-year-old victim was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour later.
“This is truly a tragedy. … This appears to be an altercation between two students and we’re investigating to determine why this occurred,” Dwyer said.
Fitzgerald Public Schools Superintendent Laurie Fournier identified the slain girl as Danyna Gibson on the district’s website Wednesday evening. Fournier said a “vigil to remember and honor the life of Danyna” will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday on the high school’s football field.
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Dwyer said the girls knew each other and had no history of trouble. He told The Associated Press the suspect was upset and disturbed when the male student broke up with her and started dating the victim, leading to her attacking her love rival. A steak knife was recovered by police.
Dwyer told reporters the school has no metal detectors.
A witness, Francesca Pascua, 17, told The Detroit News that the stabbing occurred in an economics class.
“I heard screaming, and I thought everyone was running from a bug or something,” said Pascua, who fled because, “I thought she was going to stab everybody.”
The suspect was arrested at the scene and is being held at a police lockup until the arraignment, which could happen Thursday. Dwyer said she probably will be charged with murder.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the suspect has an attorney, though she can request one at her initial court appearance. Michigan prosecutes 17-year-olds as adults in homicide cases.
The victim was on the school robotics team, student council, ran cross country and played in the marching band, Dwyer said.
The school will be closed for classes Thursday, but students and parents can come for support and assistance from counselors and psychologists. School officials said they’re conducting an internal review that will include safety procedures.
Dwyer said the school resource officer, who had been with the department for 10 years, “did everything he could to save that young girl.”
“He’s taking it very hard that he wasn’t able to save her life,” Dwyer said.
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