Police identify victims, suspect in Bronx school stabbing
A 15-year-old was killed and a 16-year-old critically injured in the stabbing at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in East Tremont.
Updated, Sept. 28: Police have identified the 15-year-old student who was fatally stabbed at a Bronx high school Wednesday morning.
Matthew McCree of the Bronx was stabbed in the chest in a fifth-floor classroom of the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in East Tremont. He was later pronounced dead on arrival at St. Barnabas Hospital.
Ariane LaBoy, 16, was also stabbed in the chest and remains in critical condition.
An 18-year-old student, Abel Cedeno of the Bronx, was arrested after taking himself to the assistant principal's office after the incident. He was charged with one count each of murder, manslaughter and attempted manslaughter and two counts each of attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, which was a 3-inch spring-action switchblade knife.
Police said Wednesday afternoon that the McCree, LaBoy and Cedeno had been in an argument for the past two weeks and that things escalated in the classroom, where 15 to 20 other students were at the time of the incident.
When asked by reporters if he was bullied as he was being led out of the 48th Precinct for his arraignment Wednesday night, Cedeno mouthed, "Yes," the New York Post reported.
Authorities have installed two body scanners and two X-ray machines and students are being screened one by one as they enter the school this morning, the Post said.
The school did not have metal detectors at the time of yesterday’s stabbing because a prior review deemed that they were not necessary, a school safety official said.
Original story, Sept. 27: A suspect is in custody after a 15-year-old student was fatally stabbed in the chest at a Bronx school Wednesday morning, officials said.
A 16-year-old student who was also stabbed in the chest remains in critical but stable condition, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said at an afternoon press conference in which the department, Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña shared preliminary information about the incident.
The stabbing occurred just before 11 a.m. on the fifth floor of the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation at 2024 Mohegan Ave. in the borough’s East Tremont neighborhood.
“We believe this argument has been going on for maybe two weeks now, and it escalated today after some back and forth in the classroom,” Boyd said.
The incident occurred about halfway through third period, and there were between 15 and 20 other students in the room at the time, he added.
The 18-year-old suspect left the classroom after the stabbing and was immediately confronted by a counselor, who confiscated the knife, which Boyd described as a 3-inch spring-action switchblade.
The student then took himself to the assistant principal’s office, where police were called.
“He made statements to us explaining what happened, which I will not go into right now,” Boyd said, but did add that there has been “nothing on record” between the three students.
The 15-year-old victim, who has not yet been identified, was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival, Boyd confirmed. He said the second unidentified victim is in stable but critical condition at the time of the press conference.
Grades six through 12 attend Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation, which shares a building with PS 67, an elementary school. There are about 1,100 total students in the building, Fariña said.
Officials confirmed that the school did not have metal detectors as a previous study “determined that it did not need them.”
While that is now under review, de Blasio said there “will be immediate random screening with detectors and additional school safety personnel will be brought in starting tomorrow.”
“It has been many, many years since we lost a child in a school,” he added. “We will redouble our efforts to ensure every child is safe.”
Fariña said students were sent home with a letter letting their parents know what happened and what will happen as the investigation continues. She also said grief counselors were on site for students and faculty.
“Every parent has the right to expect that when they send their children to school in the morning they will come back at 3 o’clock and in very good shape,” she said. “Unfortunately some families will not be feeling that security.”