Coalinga police say the suspect, also a 14 year old, stabbed the victim as the teen walked to class through an outdoor covered walkway. Police said the two 14 year olds had a fight in the 8th grade and the animosity continued into their freshman year. "The suspect approached him from the rear, grabbed him in the shoulder area and then stabbed him with a 6 inch blade, which I'm describing as a steak knife," said Coalinga Police Chief Cal Minor.
Police say the victim staggered to the school's office, where staff called 9-1-1 and helped the victim until medics arrived. Police arrested the suspect at his home within 20 minutes and the school was briefly under a lockdown. The district sent out a telephone message to parents Monday evening, notifying them about the incident.
Both the school's principal and Coalinga's police chief commended the office staff for their quick actions to help the victim and keep other students safe. "Safety is a priority of our district. And we have plans in place and today, the office staff proved they knew what to do," said Coalinga High School Principal Margo Fisher.
While several parents said they were satisfied with the way the district handled the incident, the violence on campus had parent Shane Witt concerned about what happens next. "With this being a small town and everybody knowing everybody, who's to say that there won't be any retaliation back for the incident," said Witt.
Police recovered the knife used in the stabbing and the suspect faces charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. The victim is expected to survive his injuries but he will likely be hospitalized for the next few days.