School stab­bing ‘pre­med­i­tated’

Po­lice say sus­pect laughed, chased vic­tim in front of class­mates at War­ren high school

The Detroit News - - Nation & World - BY ORALANDAR BRAND-WIL­LIAMS AND CHARLES E. RAMIREZ The Detroit News

War­ren — Tanaya Lanay Lewis smiled and laughed as she chased Danyna Gib­son be­fore stab­bing her fel­low stu­dent in front of a hor­ri­fied class at Fitzger­ald High School, a War­ren po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tor said as Lewis was charged Fri­day with first-de­gree mur­der.

Dur­ing a brief hear­ing in 37th Dis­trict Court, Judge Suzanne L. Faunce de­nied bond for Lewis, 17, who was ar­raigned via video on one count of first-de­gree mur­der. Au­thor­i­ties said the slay­ing of Gib­son, 16, was the first to oc­cur inside a school in Ma­comb County his­tory.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tor’s state­ment added chill­ing de­tails about what hap­pened Wed­nes­day morn­ing dur­ing a sec­ond-pe­riod eco­nom­ics class.

In front of about 20 stu­dents and a teacher, Lewis stabbed Gib­son twice in the chest with a straight-edge kitchen knife, strik­ing her once in the heart, the of­fi­cer said.

Gib­son tried to flee but Lewis chased her around the class­room and stabbed her again af­ter the vic­tim fell, this time in the back with a “hammer fist stab,” the in­ves­ti­ga­tor said.

The teacher pushed Lewis out of the room, and the girl tried to get back in, say­ing, “I’m go­ing to kill her,” the of­fi­cer said.

Ma­comb County Pros­e­cu­tor Eric Smith said there was no al­ter­ca­tion be­tween Lewis and Gib­son, who were friends, be­fore the at­tack.

Smith said Lewis’ “back­ground ... her GPA is im­ma­te­rial to me” as he ad­dressed re­porters af­ter the hear­ing. Smith said Lewis “waited” for her time to at­tack Gib­son.

“This was not a heat of pas­sion. This was not a sec­ond-de­gree mur­der. This wasn’t an al­ter­ca­tion of any sort. This was not ‘I’m go­ing to meet you be­hind the lock­ers,’ ” said Smith. “This was pre­med­i­tated. It was a com­plete surprise to our vic­tim. There was no pre­vi­ous al­ter­ca­tion in the class­room.”

Smith said there are no videos of the fa­tal stab­bing.

“It hap­pened so light­ning fast that no­body had any time to get on a phone,” said Smith. The pros­e­cu­tor said there is “so much in­ves­ti­ga­tion” to do on the case. He said he wasn’t sure if there were so­cial me­dia threats prior to the at­tack but that pos­si­bil­ity will be part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Gib­son, an honor roll stu­dent, died Wed­nes­day at St. John Ma­comb-Oak­land Hospi­tal in Madi­son Heights. Po­lice said there was an­i­mos­ity be­tween the two girls be­cause of a boy they liked.

Lewis’ par­ents and at­tor­ney de­clined to com­ment af­ter the hear­ing. Lewis court Sept. 27.

She could spend up to life be­hind bars if con­victed. Un­der state law, all 17-year-olds are charged as adults if ar­rested for any of­fense.

Mean­while, classes re­sumed Fri­day at Fitzger­ald High, with stu­dents still try­ing to make sense of the fa­tal stab­bing.

Sopho­more Aaron Wil­liams re­turned to the school af­ter he and all of its stu­dents were sent home af­ter the in­ci­dent Wed­nes­day morn­ing. The school was also closed Thurs­day.

The 14-year-old walked to school with his friend Devin Ho­gan, 13, a fresh­man who was rid­ing a bike.

Aaron said he is a

is due



lit­tle con-

cerned about his safety. He said the staff is very strict about se­cu­rity.

“They have things on lock­down,” he said. “They give you tick­ets for fight­ing.”

On Thurs­day at the high school, at least 500 stu­dents, staff and par­ents gath­ered to honor Gib­son.

Aaron and Devin said they had seen the sus­pect around school but didn’t know her.

Devin said the school’s stu­dents are still shocked and con­tinue to talk about it on so­cial me­dia.

“And the friends I’ve talked to said they’re afraid to come,” Devin said.


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