Fight at Florida high school ends in fatal stabbing

By Calvin Palmer

A fight at a South Florida high school this morning left one student dead after he was stabbed by another student.

The attacker was immediately arrested at Coral Gables Senior High School. His name has not been released.

School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the fight happened sometime after 9:00 a.m. as students moved from first- to second-period classes. He could not say what the two students were arguing about or how many others saw the stabbing.

Miami-Dade police named the victim as 17-year-old Juan Carlos Rivera.

“Our collective hearts go out to the family of the victim,” said Carvalho, who called it a “catastrophic loss”.

Felix Cedeño, a sophomore, said he saw two boys pushing each other outside of the gym and then saw one boy pull out what appeared to be a boxcutter and attack the other, Felix said.

“He stabbed him, three times,” Felix said. “Once in the chest, once by the collarbone and once by the kidney.”

The boy with the knife then took off running, Felix said.

Felix, who didn’t know either of the boys, ran to help the teen on the ground as a crowd of students gathered around them.

“He didn’t say anything,” Felix said of the victim. “He was gasping for air. He was clutching his chest, bleeding everywhere.”

Felix called 911 on his cellphone and stayed with the boy until school security arrived to aid the victim.

The school, in an affluent suburb southwest of downtown Miami, has 3,300 students on a 26-acre campus. It remained on lockdown after the stabbing.

The superintendent said lunch and water were provided in classrooms, and psychologists trained in crisis management were dispatched to the school to talk to staff and students.

A violent incident such as this is one of the “toughest situations that any educator faces,” Carvalho said.

He added that parents and the community need to teach students “better manners” and “instill a greater sense of personal and civic advocacy”.

[Based on reports by The Miami Herald and Associated Press.]

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