Officials from the Los Angeles Unified School District said Friday night that a student at South East High School in South Gate died from stab wounds she suffered late Friday morning at the school.
"Unfortunately, we're not able to check everybody," said LAUSD Police Chief Steve Zipperman. "It's a random search. You have 3,000 students attending a school like this. This was an unfortunate incident, that this particular gentleman was able to carry a knife on campus in his backpack and it obviously resulted in this unfortunate incident."
"No incident, no relationship, should be solved as the result of violence," said LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy. "We have people here all weekend long and obviously all next week, to provide support for people who are really grieved by this."
Abraham Lopez, 18, allegedly stabbed Cindi Santana, 17, during a lunchtime fight at South East High School before being subdued. An 11th-grade and varsity football player, Jorge Garcia, and a female dean were stabbed or cut while trying to stop the attack, according to school police.Four other people, including the alleged assailant, were also hospitalized after the stabbing.
School officials said Santana died at Saint Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where she was being treated.
"The male student stabbed the female student, and the dean interceded. He received non-life threatening injuries, but was wounded," said Deasy. "Another student also jumped in to stop this. That student received injuries, but also non-life threatening."
A school police officer complained of chest pains and was taken to the hospital, said Levesque.
A total of five people -- including the assailant -- were hospitalized, Levesque said.
The motive for the fight was unclear. Some students said the stabber and the female victim may have dated in the past.
The school was placed on precautionary lockdown and dismissed on time, said Deasy. Deasy said sending the students back to their classrooms, rather than dismissing school early, was the correct move.
"The best place for students to be is to finish their school day," said Deasy. "We can remind them that violence is never a solution."
South East High School is located at 2720 Tweedy Blvd. in South Gate.
In a related matter, a Sheriff's Department bomb squad was called to the hospital, in response to threats directed at the victim and her family members. Late Friday night, no bomb had been found.