Maren Sanchez, a 16-year-old teenager, died at a hospital after being stabbed at a Milford, Connecticut, high school. The stabbing of the girl happened just twelve hours before junior prom. According to officials, a boy of 16, who is not being identified due to his status as a minor, was arrested.
Keith Mello, the police chief for Milford, which is located 10 miles away from New Haven, related during a news conference today that the stabbing took place in a school hallway at approximately 7:15 a.m. One member of the Connecticut high school staff witnessed a male student stabbing Sanchez and attempted to step in to help. The staff member called the high school’s resource officer, who arrested the attacker and phoned the Milford police. Sanchez was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries to her neck, but despite receiving emergency, life-saving care, her death was recorded at 7:43 a.m. Due to the horrific incident at the school, the building was locked down and then evacuated.
Students of the high school reported to the media that the stabbing occurred after the unidentified suspect asked Sanchez to be his prom date and she declined, at which time it is alleged that he attempted to strangle her and push her down a flight of stairs before stabbing her in the throat in a first floor stairwell. Police were not able to confirm this account. A police officer for Milford, Jeffrey Nielson, told the Los Angeles Times that the investigation is still ongoing and that witnesses are being interviewed by the department. He added, “All we know is that we had a stabbing.” The prom, due to occur Friday night, was canceled due to the deadly assault and the Jonathan Law High School students were sent home for the day at approximately 9:15 a.m. Counseling services are being offered to the students.
A freshman at the Connecticut school told The Associated Press that she first knew that something awful had happened as she sat in a lobby at the school with friends and saw security guards running down the hallway. She also heard over one of the guard’s walkie-talkies that a strangling had occurred. One student saw Sanchez lying on the floor and surrounded by teachers and related that some of the teachers were crying. She was not able to see what had happened and was led away from the scene by teachers.
Although Jonathan Law High School does not have metal detectors, Mello described the school as safe. There is surveillance camera footage that can be reviewed by police.
The school superintendent, Elizabeth Feser, said during a news conference that the school is “obviously devastated” by Sanchez’ death, and confirmed that Sanchez was an active student at the high school, participated in athletics and had been named to the National Honor Society. “She was very well respected and liked.”
Meanwhile, the Connecticut House of Representatives held a moment of silence for Sanchez today. Said Gayle Slossberg, the state senator who represents Milford, “This is a terrible day here.”
By Jennifer Pfalz