High school student fatally stabs classmate in the chest and back because she started dating her ex-boyfriend
Tanaya Lewis, 17, who stabbed 16-year-old Danyna Gibson was seen chasing the victim with a steak knife at Fitzgerald High School before stabbing her four times
A 17-year-old Detroit girl accused of killing a classmate in school was reportedly laughing as she chased her classmate with a steak knife before stabbing her in the chest and back, authorities said on Friday as they filed a first-degree murder charge.
Tanaya Lewis was arraigned in Warren District Court on Friday, two days after 16-year-old Danyna Gibson was murdered in a classroom at Fitzgerald High School. Police said there was animosity between the straight-A students over a boy.
The case is "very unfortunate, all the way around," defense attorney Mark Brown said after the hearing.
Prosecutor: "She committed the most horrific crime there is." Police say 17-year-old Tanaya Lewis kept yelling "I'm going to kill her," after stabbing 16-year-old Danyna Gibson four times. MORE: @FOX2News 5PM pic.twitter.com/DSTSK18brU— Erika Erickson (@FOX2Erika) September 14, 2018
Lewis appeared in court via video from jail and was denied bond. Her parents watched from the courtroom gallery.
"Premeditation is abundant in this case, as simple as the fact that she brought a knife to school," Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith told reporters, explaining the first-degree murder charge. "The defendant chased the victim throughout the class while this was going on... This was over something as simple as the victim being friends with a boy," Smith added.
Warren police Det. Donald Seidl told a judge that other students reported Lewis smiling and laughing as she pursued Gibson. A teacher got Lewis out of the room, he said, but the girl tried to get back in, declaring, "I'm going to kill her," and she eventually did.
Classes resumed at Fitzgerald High for the first time since Wednesday. "I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy," Gibson's father, Preston Gibson, told WJBK-TV. "In my heart, I felt hate, but then again I had to remember from what I heard, hate is what got her here."
The deadly clash between two "straight-A students" took place in a Fitzgerald High School classroom in suburban Detroit, Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said.
A school resource officer immediately began life-saving procedures, but the 16-year-old victim was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour later. "This is truly a tragedy. This appears to be an altercation between two students and we're investigating to determine why this occurred," Dwyer said.
The school's superintendent, Laurie Fournier, identified the slain girl as Gibson on the district's website Wednesday evening. Fournier said a "vigil to remember and honor the life of Danyna will be held at 1pm Thursday on the high school's football field." The victim was on the school robotics team, student council, ran cross country and played in the marching band, Dwyer said.
Dwyer added the girls knew each other and had no history of trouble. He also told The Associated Press the suspect was upset and disturbed when the male student broke up with her and started dating the victim, leading to her attacking her love rival.
Tanaya Lanay Lewis charged with fatal stabbing of fellow Warren high school friend. pic.twitter.com/6WeXyZATQv— oralandar brand-wms (@oralandar_DN) September 14, 2018
A steak knife was recovered by police as the school has no metal detectors. School officials said they're conducting an internal review that will include safety procedures.
Dwyer said the school resource officer, who had been with the department for 10 years, "did everything he could to save that young girl." "He's taking it very hard that he wasn't able to save her life," Dwyer said.
A 17-year-old witness, Francesca Pascua, told The Detroit News that the stabbing occurred in an economics class. "I heard screaming, and I thought everyone was running from a bug or something," said Pascua, who fled because she thought "she was going to stab everybody."
The suspect was arrested at the scene and is being held at a police lockup. Dwyer told the reporters that she probably will be charged with murder. Michigan prosecutes 17-year-olds as adults in homicide cases and it isn't clear whether the suspect has an attorney, though she can request one at her initial court appearance.
The school was closed for classes on Thursday, but students and parents were asked to visit for support and assistance from counselors and psychologists.