FREMONT, Calif. - A 16-year-old high school student in the East Bay was arrested for attempted homicide after allegedly slashing another student in the neck. Students, teachers and staff at Kennedy High School in Fremont had to shelter in place for nearly an hour as police found the teenage suspect on campus.
The actual assault happened Tuesday across from the high school at the Sundale shopping center during the school lunch hour. It happened near a Mexican restaurant, where many students go for lunch.
The 15-year-old victim has been released from the hospital. School officials stress it is an isolated incident and additional counseling support will also be available this week.
"This is very local and right next to the school and the person goes to our school. I was scared," said Sajul Khan, a Kennedy High School freshman.
Students at Kennedy High School in Fremont are understandably scared after police took another student away in handcuffs.
"We received a 911 call from a person who advised that they were stabbed in the neck," said Sgt. Calvin Tang of Fremont Police.
Police were called out to the Sundale Shopping Center at 12:50 p.m. Tuesday. The victim is a sophomore from Kennedy High School.
"Both people were fighting too much and we go outside and separate them," said Witness Oscar Aguirre.
Aguirre who works at a Mexican restaurant in the plaza witnessed the fight. He said it happened outside the restaurant behind Suju’s Coffee Shop.
He said blood stains are still visible on the pavement and that the suspect used what he believes was a box cutter to cut the 15-year-old victim’s neck and then the suspect ran off.
Two school resource officers were at Kennedy High School. Police said they responded within 46 seconds. Students and staff sheltered in place. Police ultimately arrested the suspect, a junior, on campus.
"Why he did that? Is something going on with him? Is he not okay?" said Kennedy High Parent Kishwar Asghar.
"Many kids still go there for lunch and we are scared another stabbing might happen," said Khan.
"This is an isolated incident that is not reflective of the climate, culture and care we are proud of at Kennedy High School," said CJ Cammack, Fremont Unified School District Superintendent.
Students said it has been a stressful time especially after online schooling.
"All of us need to keep our eyes open about the mental health status of kids," said Dr. Thomas Plante, Santa Clara University Professor of Psychology.
Psychology experts advise parents and mentors to look out for warning signs of anxiety, depression and aggression and to talk to their kids.
"Check in with them," said Plante. "Are you doing okay? What’s going on at school? Things okay? Try to problem solve with them."
Police also arrested a 17-year-old student from another high school in a neighboring city for accessory and brandishing a weapon. Police have not disclosed a motive at this time.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.