Faceoff in bronx class a ‘show’
THE BRONX classroom fell dead silent as the students stood toe to toe, all eyes riveted on the pair.
“It was like a show, like they were the two stars,” recalled witness Frankie Santiago, 16, about the blood-spattering showdown. “And everybody was quiet, including the teachers.”
One day after Abel Cedeno’s arrest for the stabbing murder of classmate Matthew McCree, 15, the victim’s family and friends, along with police, said the slain youth had no prior beef with the man who killed him Wednesday morning.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Thursday that the fatal confrontation between Cedeno, 18, McCree and stabbing survivor Ariane Laboy, 16, was the first between the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation students.
Cedeno’s lawyer and family friends insisted his murderous rage was fueled by racist and gayhating slurs from fellow students.
But McCree’s stepfather Kyle Victor, 34, said, “They’re trying to make it seem like Matthew was a mean person. Matthew was not that at all. They’re trying to make it look like he doesn’t like gay people. That’s wrong, too.”
Laboy and McCree were best friends, and Laboy was stabbed with a switchblade after leaping to his dying buddy’s defense.
Cedeno “said he had problems before at the start of school, but not with these two individuals,” said Boyce. “He said he was being harassed, but that is all he said.”
His defense attorneys made it clear there were mitigating circumstances in the fatal fight.
“We are currently meeting with our client and his family and reviewing the facts and circumstances of this case, including the long history of bullying and intimidation Abel has endured,” the Legal Aid Society said in a statement.
The stabbing was the first slaying inside a city school since February 1993.
The abuse heaped upon Cedeno had been reported to officials at his Bronx high school without any response, said family friend Savannah Hornbeck before the accused killer’s Thursday arraignment.
“The kids were calling him a f---t, calling him” ethnic slurs, said Hornbeck, 34. “After it had been reported numerous times and there was no reaction from the
Angel Jimenez (r.) was stabbed to death in a city school in 1993. His sister Angela (below) said Thursday officials have not learned from that tragedy. Students (top left) return to Bronx Wildlife school a day after Wednesday’s fatal bully encounter found new metal detector (left) and memorial (main photo). Abel Cedeno (above) admitted to stabbing two classmates, one fatally, prosecutor said.