A 16-year-old high school student was beaten to death inside of a school bathroom in Delaware on April 21. Amy Inita Joyner-Francis was pronounced dead after being rushed to a nearby children’s hospital in Wilmington, Delaware. The horrific incident occurred inside of Howard High School. Several of her friends on social media have said that people stood back to record the beating on their phones rather than intervene.
Three girls, Trinity Carr, Zion Snow and Chakeira Wright, have been charged in the incident.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Initial Reports Say the Fight Was Over a Boy; Though Inita’s Friends Dispute This
The brawl that claimed Inita’s life was over a boy, reports ABC Philadelphia. A friend of Inita’s, Kayla Sutrell, told Delaware Online that the victim said she was going to the bathroom on the morning of April 21 to “settle the beef.” While Sutrell stressed the anomosity had nothing to do with a boy.
It was Wilmington’s Mayor Denis Williams who announced Inita’s death in a press conference at Howard High School, saying:
I’m so upset that the young lady lost her life today. Things like this shouldn’t happen. My heart bleeds for the family, the kids that go to this school, administrators and our city.
Delaware Online reports that Inita was rushed to A.I DuPont Hospital for Children in critical condition. She was pronounced dead en route.
The fight broke out after the bell rang and the students were in their classrooms. The school was dismissed after the incident.
Police were first called to the school at around 8:18 a.m. on the morning of April 21. Friends told Delaware Online that Inita went to the bathrooms at around 8 a.m.
2. Police in Delaware Have Taken Multiple People Into Custody in Relation to the Death
Delaware Online reports that police in Wilmington have taken two female students in for questioning in relation to Inita’s death. Those investigators do not believe the fight involved anyone from outside of the school.
The website also says that there is a full-time resource officer from the Wilmington Police Department stationed at the school full time.
One witness to the assault told ABC Philadelphia, “She was fighting a girl, and then that’s when all these other girls started banking her — like jumping her — and she hit her head on the sink.”
City Councilman Nnamdi Chukwuocha told Delaware Online about the lack of attention fights between females get by community leaders. Chukwuocha said, “Some of the worst fights I’ve seen in the community have been with the females. We need to address the needs of the young women. As of right now, I don’t think we’re doing that.”
3. In 2015, She Got a Message on Her Ask.fm Page Telling Her That ‘Kyaire’s Girlfriend Wants to Fight You’
A year before her death, someone sent Inita a message on Ask.fm saying, “Kyaire’s girlfriend wants to fight you.” Inita replied, “Who is Kyaire’s girlfriend?” That was the last question she was asked on the controversial social networking site.
On Twitter, Inita wrote in her bio, “Somewhere between psychotic and iconic.” A pinned tweet on that page read, “I really wish I hadn’t stuck by some ppl through all the bs they put me through because I swear that shit wasn’t even worth it in the end.” It was sent on April 12.
She lived in New Castle, Delaware, a city about six miles south of Wilmington, according to Delaware Online. A friend, Nik Strymski, told the website that Amy “didn’t believe in fighting, and the craziest thing is she died in a fight.”
4. Inita’s Friends Have Taken to Twitter En Masse to Share Messages of Condolences
In a series of touching messages, Inita’s friends and even those who didn’t know her, such as actress Paige Hurd, have taken Twitter to share messages of condolences. Many have used the hashtag “#RIPAmy.”
Here are some of the most poignant tweets:
Speaking to Delaware Online, one of Inita’s friends, Shytera Dawkins, said, “All I wanted to do with my friend was walk across the stage and get our diplomas. And now that dream is taken away because she’s not there.”
Wilmington city councilwoman Sherry Dorsey Walker spoke to the media on behalf of Inita’s family. She said the victim’s loved ones are “asking people to just be calm and pray for them,” according to ABC News.
5. A Mayoral Debate That Was Scheduled to Take Place at Howard High School on April 21 Was Canceled
Howard High School of Technology is located on the 400 block of East 12th Street in Wilmington. WDEL reports that the mayoral debate that was scheduled to take place at the school on the night of April 21 was canceled out of respect. Meanwhile, Delaware Governor Jack Markell told the station:
My heart goes out to the family. It’s an unspeakable tragedy. For those of you who work with kids and love your kids, I’m sure it’s impossible to imagine.
The school counts NFL star Devon Still among its alumni.