A community in Raleigh, North Carolina, is reeling after a 15-year-old was stabbed to death in a high school gym on Monday and a 14-year-old was charged with his murder.
The brawl was captured in a gut-wrenching video that shows the suspect delivering the deadly blows as a crowd of students watched and cheered.
Classes at Southeast Raleigh High School were canceled Tuesday in the wake of the devastating, caught-on-camera fight.
“I want to share my condolences. As a parent, I can’t imagine getting that call. I just cannot imagine that,” Wake County Superintendent Robert Taylor said at a news conference.
Police have not named the 14-year-old suspect, saying only that he had been charged with murder on a juvenile petition. The 15-year-old who was killed also has yet to be identified by authorities. A 16-year-old who was injured in the stabbing remains hospitalized but is expected to survive.
Footage of the fight shows it started in the school hallway with one boy throwing punches at another boy before the two of them raced into the gym, followed by a huge crowd, some of whom then joined the fight.
A woman who told local outlet WRAL that her son was involved in the fight said he was just defending himself.
“I don’t believe he took the knife into school. I believe he got the knife from somebody in the school because he did not go to school with a knife. I dropped him off at school, he did not go to school with it,” Cherelle McLaughlin was quoted as saying.
Other parents questioned how the knife could’ve even gotten into the school, while still others vowed to never send their children back.
“They need to do something about metal detectors. There’s no reason these kids got knives or guns, and I know they’ve got guns. No reason. They shouldn’t get in the front door,” Dwayne Funderburk, whose daughter is a freshman at the school, told WRAL.
“My child literally seen her friend get stabbed and killed in school today. … Mulitple [sic] children have videos and not one teacher in sight until blood was on the floor this is ridiculous definitely my childs last day attending this school,” another parent, Laneisha Jennings, wrote on social media.
Superintendent of Wake County Public Schools Robert Taylor pledged in a statement to parents to ensure that action is taken to prevent further violence so that the school can be a “safe haven” for students.
“We also end the day with a strong resolve for action. Every parent in this district puts their trust in us when they send their child to school. All acts of violence in our schools are unacceptable,” Taylor said.