A high school love triangle apparently sparked a stabbing inside a Michigan classroom Wednesday that left a 16-year-old straight A student dead and a 17-year-old classmate in custody and facing a murder charge, police said.
The two girls had once been friends but apparently had a falling out over dating the same boy, police said.
The violent confrontation occurred about 8:30 a.m. at Fitzgerald High School in Warren, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, when the older student pulled out a kitchen steak knife and stabbed the victim twice in the chest, Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said during a press conference.
The victim was taken to St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital in Warren, where she died at 9:24 a.m., police said.
The names of the victim and suspect were not released.
“It’s possible that both the victim and the suspect had a relationship with the male student,” Dwyer said.
The incident occurred shortly after school began Wednesday, Dwyer said. He said that 20 to 30 other students and their teacher were in the classroom when the 17-year-old honor student pulled out a steak knife and attacked the victim.
There are no metal detectors at the school, Dwyer said.
A school resource officer was immediately summoned to the classroom and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the victim until paramedics arrived, Dwyer said.
The suspect stayed at the scene and was taken into custody without incident, Dwyer said. The knife, which police believe the victim brought from home, was recovered, he said.
“I can only say that the victim and the suspect knew each other and the male student knew both of the suspect and the victim and that may have been one of the reasons why this occurred,” Dwyer said.
He said the male student, who is 16 or 17 years old, has been interviewed by police and is cooperating in the investigation.
“This is truly a tragedy,” Dwyer said. “Our prayers go out to the family of the victim.”
No other students were injured in the deadly altercation.
“All parties involved are straight A students and neither has been involved in any trouble at all,” Dwyer said.
He said the suspect was taken to the Warren Police Department for questioning.
“She did make some admissions,” said Dwyer, who declined to elaborate. “We will be asking for a murder warrant.”
He said it will be up to the Macomb County District Attorney’s officer to decide whether to charge the suspect with murder.
Dwyer said investigators are also reviewing text messages exchanged between the victim and her suspected killer but he did not disclose the contents of the messages.
Dwyer described the victim as an outgoing student, who was a member of the school’s cross country team, robotics club, color guard, marching band, National Honors Society, student council and an organization called A Generation of Promise.
Grief counseling was being provided for students, particularly those who witnessed the stabbing, said Laurie Fournier, superintendent of the Fitzgerald Public School. She said all classes at the school were canceled for the remainder of Wednesday and that the school will be closed on Thursday.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the student’s family and we offer our deepest sympathy,” Fournier said in a statement posted on the school district’s website. “We are working very closely with the police department on this matter as well as conducting an internal school review of the incident which will review all our current safety procedures and protocols.”