Abel Cedeno has been identified in several news reports as the suspect who stabbed two of his fellow students at a high school in the Bronx on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old was taken into custody, according to the New York Police Department. The knife was recovered, police said, and a full investigation is underway.
The incident happened at 10:45 a.m. the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation on Mohegan Avenue in East Tremont.
“All our hearts are very heavy right now,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Abel Cedeno Is Accused of Stabbing Two Students With a Switchblade
Several news reports have identified the two victims as Matthew McCree, 15, and Ariane LaBoy, 16. The NYPD confirmed that the victim who lost his life was 15 years old and the other victim is 16 years old. Both were stabbed in the chest.
“At this moment we have one child whose life has been lost and one child who is fighting for his life,” de Blasio said at a press conference on Wednesday. “This is a painful, painful tragedy.”
NYPD Chief of Community Affairs Joanne Jaffe said there are no metal detectors at the school. “This is a school that was – it was determined that it did not need metal detectors,” she said.
2. The Incident Began When One of the Victims Threw a Pen at Cedeno, a Witness Says
A witness told the New York Post that one of the victims was throwing pens across the room during class when Cedeno was hit.
Jomarlyn Colon, 16, told the New York Post that Cedeno demanded to know who threw the pen. That’s when McCree stepped said he did it and told Cedeno is was an accident. Cedeno then pulled a knife out of his pocket.
3. There Are Unconfirmed Reports That Cedeno Was Bullied at School
The New York Post interviewed a friend of Cedeno who says he was bullied for his “flamboyant” personality.
“They were harassing him and that’s when he did what he did,” said the friend.
“I heard he was being harassed,” she said. “He’s not aggressive. Everybody loves Abel. He’s not a bad kid.”
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said the police are investigating whether Cedeno was being bullied.
“He has made statements to us explaining what happening, which I will not go into right now. He is an 18 year old male. He is upstairs in this building right now. We’re speaking to him as we talk right now. That’s what I have right now,” O’Neill told reporters in the Bronx.
We believe that this argument – this thing has been going on for maybe two weeks into the school, and it escalated today after some back and forth within the classroom,” he said.
4. Students Tried To Save McCree As a Teacher Restrained Cedeno, Witnesses Say
Several students who were in the classroom when the stabbings happened said students tried to administer first aid to McCree, according to the New York Post.
“We were just holding Matthew,” one student said. “When Ariane got stabbed they were holding towels on him. All the kids were crying.
The student said the teacher tried to restrain Cedeno.
“Mr. Kennedy tried to hold Abel but he broke free. They didn’t hold him tight enough,” the student told the New York Post.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said “the perpetrator walked out of the room, was confronted by a counselor in the hallway where she asked for the knife and recovered the knife. He then walked into the assistant principal’s office and sat there and the police were called.”
5. De Blasio’s Opponent in the Upcoming Mayoral Race Put Out a Statement Criticizing Him
Shortly after the stabbing took place, Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican running for mayor against Bill de Blasio sent reporters a statement condemning the mayor for a lack of safety in New York City public schools.
Wednesday’s incident was the first time in 25 years that a New York City public school student was killed a classroom, according to ABC News.