The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
Teen, 15, killed in stabbing at school, police say
Incident occurred in evening at Grove J. Tuttle Elementary School
EAST HAVEN — Police say a 15-year-old North Branford boy died after being stabbed Tuesday evening outside Tuttle Elementary School.
The teen was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital where he died, East Haven Police Capt. Joseph Murgo said.
His identity was not immediately released Wednesday morning.
East Haven Mayor Joseph Carfora said he’d been assured the incident was “isolated.”
“As a precaution, I have asked for and been assured, that there will be increased police patrols at all schools, parks and recreational facilities,” Carfora said in a statement released by his office. “Senseless violence like this has no place in our community. The East Haven Police Department has the full support of my office to do whatever is necessary to bring those responsible to justice.”
“My deepest condolences go out to the victim’s family,” he added.
Officers responded to Grove J. Tuttle Elementary School at 108 Prospect Road around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday for a report of an altercation involving several people, according to Murgo.
At the scene, officers determined a 15-year-old had been “assaulted with a knife during a physical altercation involving several people,” Murgo said. He said the incident occurred on school grounds in a courtyard, but school was not in session at the time the fight occurred.
Firefighters treated the boy at the scene before he was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital where he died, Murgo said.
Paris James, who lives across the street from Tuttle Elementary, said he saw four boys running away from the school Tuesday evening as he arrived home and just before police descended on the neighborhood.
The kids James saw ran up Pennsylvania Avenue then took a right and continued south on Hemingway Avenue, he said.
“I’ve never seen the kids before,” James said. “Everything is calm out here normally.”
Murgo said other minors were involved in the incident. He described the incident as isolated, but said security will be heightened district-wide as a precaution.
“While details regarding this incident will be forthcoming, we want residents to know that all involved individuals in this altercation have been identified, are accounted for, and no threat to public safety exists,” Murgo said in an update on Tuesday confirming the boy’s death.
“This is an active and ongoing criminal investigation,” he added. “We are working closely with the State’s Attorney’s Office and information regarding pending charges will be forthcoming.”
James, the neighbor across the street from the school, said he’s lived there for 21 years and has never had reason to fear.
“Nothing like that has ever happened around here before, especially so close to home,” James said.
“It doesn’t really change anything for me,” he said of Tuesday’s stabbing.
“It just makes me a little worried for my little brother,” who is 15.
Narisa and Birchel Stainrod live next to Tuttle School and said they were in New York Tuesday night. “But if we were here, I would have seen it,” said Narisa.
Nevertheless, “You cannot live in fear,” she said.
Birchel Stainrod said they used to live in New
York, “where things were hot,” but have never had reason to worry in East Haven, although “this is shocking.”
Narisa Stainrod, who said she used to work in the District Attorney’s Office in New York, said she has “”no problem where I’m living.”
Another neighbor on Prospect, who would only give his first name, Tom, said this particular incident concerns him but he has never before had any concerns about the neighborhood.
Around the corner on Tyler Street, an ex-Marine who wouldn’t give his name said he’s lived in East Haven for 20 years and he’s never had reason to worry before. “It’s just a total shock that stuff like this happens in East Haven,” he said. “It’s just a crying shame that this happened. Maybe in New Haven or Hartford, but not East Haven.
“They don’t want to come around here,” the ex-Marine said. “They’ll be carrying them out in a bag.”