Kenny Diaz, a senior football player at Woodbridge High School in Prince William County, Virginia, was found on Saturday with a stab wound to his torso. He later died in the hospital, just a day after a big football win.
Here are five fast facts about the murder of Kenny Diaz.
1. Diaz Was Found in a Park With a Stab Wound
People walking through Marumsco Acre Lake Neighborhood Park around 3:15 p.m. on Saturday spotted Kenny Diaz, who had suffered a stab wound. They called 911 and authorities took him to hospital, where he later died of his wounds.
Police have linked the stabbing, according to NBC Washington, to an armed robbery of one of Diaz’s friends on September 12 that went unreported. Authorities connected 19-year-old Diandra Janae Samuels to the robbing.
2. 4 Women and 2 Men Have Been Charged in Connection With the Murder
Prince William County police have arrested four women and two men in connection with the murder of Diaz. The accused include Diandra Janae Samuels (center, bottom row, above), who is implicated in the unreported robbery of one of Diaz’s friends earlier this month. The other people charged in the murder are Dominic Glenn Smith (26), Deneen Antoinette Williams (29), Renee Claytor Caples (22), Teena Marie Gerbozy (24), and Gregory Allan Bonds (22).
Authorities accuse the group of subduing and abducting Diaz after a confrontation between two groups of people at Samuels’ home on Bellona Drive. According to NBC, the group forced him into a car and drove him to the park, where Samuels allegedly stabbed him.
Samuels has been charged with murder, aggravated malicious wounding, abduction, armed robbery, and the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Smith was also slapped with charges for abduction and possession of a firearm. The rest of the group was charged with abduction.
The suspects are being held without bond. They will appear in court on December 2.
3. Diaz Was Killed the Day After a Big Football Win
Diaz’s murder occurred just one day after the Woodbridge football team played a Friday night victory against Stonewall Jackson High School, according to the Washington Post. Media and scouts were in attendance, raising the hype and energy for the game. Woodbridge has one of America’s top-ranked high school prospects, Da’Shaen Hand, who is being courted by three elite college football programs.
“The one thing I always tell kids is: ‘Real life is a lot tougher than football,'” said Karibi Dede, Diaz’s football coach.
“It was a great day, it was a very happy day, and today is a very sad day — a very contrasting mood,” said Dede. “I think this will be very, very hard for them, I think it will be hard for our school.”
4. The Everyone Is Shocked About Diaz’s Death
— Wesley (@weesleypadilla) September 23, 2013
Diaz’s school, family, and friends are currently in shock about the murder. They say he was a kind, respectable teen and that he didn’t deserve this end.
“Students and staff of Woodbridge High School are united in sadness at the tragic loss of our friend, teammate and student, Kenny Diaz,” read a statement posted on the high school’s website. “He will be missed.”
“He was really friendly, like I would never see him upset…. He wasn’t the person getting in fights,” said childhood friend Joaquim Santos. “He was like the average good kid. I wish he was still with me. I wish I could see his face again, talk to him, tell him I miss him.”
“He was very well-mannered, a very coachable, likable kid,” Dede said. “He was not the biggest kid, but he always gave great effort and he always supported his teammates.”
Diaz’s teammates gathered on Monday to support each other in this tough time.
5. Diaz Was Studying to Go to College
If you ain't got a dream you ain't got nothing .
— Kenny Diaz (@kennydiazzz) November 4, 2012
Diaz was in his senior year of high school at the time of his death. Friends and school staff have told reporters that he was hard at work trying to go to college after graduation.
LeShaun Mack, assistant head coach of the school football team, said that Diaz had been busy studying to get good grades for post-secondary school. Diaz had been missing practices.
“I said, ‘Where have you been, man?'” Mack recalled. Diaz answered him, “I was working on my SATs, Coach.”
Sixteen-year-old Melissa Leassear told reporters that Diaz wrote about his college aspirations on Twitter.
“He once wrote, ‘You don’t have anything if you don’t have dreams,'” she said. “So I know he had big plans.”