Victoria Oraczko, 16, of Warren talks about witnessing school stabbing at Fitzgerald High School in Warren, Mich. on Wed., Sept. 12, 2018.
Kim Mitchell, Detroit Free Press
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts posted on Facebook on Wednesday night that the suspect in a fatal high school classroom stabbing “had apparently posted on social media what she planned on doing to her good friend.”
“I spoke with a friend of the family and she stated the older girl had apparently posted on social media what she planned on doing to her good friend,” according to Fouts’ post, which did not specifically identify the parties or the type of social media that was supposedly used. “Someone on social media may have seen this and could have prevented this had they told someone.”
Danyna Gibson, 16, of Warren died Wednesday morning less than an hour after she was stabbed twice in the chest with a kitchen-style knife at Fitzgerald High School, police and school authorities said. The school district identified the victim as Gibson and is planning a vigil in her honor at 1 p.m. Thursday on the school’s football field.
The suspect, a 17-year-old Warren girl, continued to be held at the Warren police lockup Thursday. Charges and an arraignment could come Friday, Police Commissioner William Dwyer said.
Dwyer said he was reserving comment regarding Fouts’ Facebook post, including the social media details, because of the pending investigation.
Fouts, on Facebook, called the attack “a very heart wrenching tragedy” that led to an “unthinkable death by stabbing in a morning classroom.” Fouts is a retired high school government teacher in Warren Consolidated School.
“The older girl let her anger get in the way of good judgement,” according to his Facebook post.
Fouts added: “I hope an effort will be made at Fitzgerald HS and other schools to encourage young people to say something if they have knowledge of a potential dangerous conflict.”
Fouts in a phone interview Thursday said the person he talked to was a friend of the victim’s family who indicated there were comments on social media of the suspect being angry and going after the victim. He didn’t know if the comments included that she was going to kill her. He also didn’t know where the comments were posted.
He said the suspect skipped her own class and went to the victim’s classroom. “It happened so fast, the students couldn’t do anything,” he said.
Fouts said he would like to see a campaign with signs in the school something like “If you see something, say something” in an effort for folks to tell a teacher or counselor if they see something on Facebook or social media.
“Everybody has to be part of the village and be a part — the brother’s and sister’s keeper,” he said.
Fouts said the friend of the victim’s family said the family “is devastated” and that both families are devastated and in a state of shock.
He said in his post that his heart goes out to the parents of the victim and of the suspect “who now must face a charge of murder!”
“Despite this tragedy Fitzgerald HS is a good school and produces great students. I have been to many events at Fitzgerald and have always found it to be a community oriented school,” Fouts said in his Facebook post. “Please say something to prevent the unthinkable! See something, say something!”
Dwyer said a teacher and 20 to 30 other students were in the classroom when the stabbing occurred at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
He said the victim died about 9:25 a.m. Wednesday at St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital in Madison Heights. She was, at one point, friends with the suspect, he said. He said they were both seniors at the school and straight-A students.
Dwyer said the victim was involved in school activities, including cross-country, robotics, color guard, marching band, student council and Generation of Promise.
Dwyer said Wednesday that the suspect was upset with the victim because she thought the victim was telling the suspect’s 17-year-old boyfriend that the suspect was cheating on him.
Dwyer said there were texts between the suspect and her boyfriend, but he declined to comment further on them. He said police received information later Wednesday that the suspect and boyfriend drove to school together to resolve their differences Wednesday morning.
He said the male student, a 17-year-old from Warren, is cooperating with police. He said the suspect made an admission, but he would not release further details.
Dwyer said a knife, which is believed to have been brought to school in a backpack, was recovered.
Dwyer said Thursday that the school resource officer who began CPR on the victim after hearing screams is not interested in talking with the media at this time. However, he said, the school resource officer does plan to return to the school.
The high school is closed for classes Thursday, but mental health support staff were to be available until 2 p.m. for students, parents or staff who need assistance, according to the school district’s Facebook page.
Dwyer said while there are no plans for extra police when classes resume, there will be extra patrols for Thursday’s vigil.
School officials said in a Facebook post Wednesday that they were working with police and conducting an internal school review of the incident in which it would review safety procedures and protocols.
Contact Christina Hall: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.
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