Extra Security At Bronx School As Teen Faces Multiple Charges In Deadly Stabbing

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Extra security measures are in place Thursday at a school in the Bronx where a student was killed and another was critically hurt after they were allegedly stabbed by a fellow classmate.

School safety officers wheeled metal detectors into PS 67 and the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation early Thursday morning.

“They should have had metal detectors in this school,” parent Trina Nimmons said. “They shouldn’t have waited for somebody to die to put them in.”

The suspect, 18-year-old Abel Cedeno, was arraigned Thursday morning. Police said he was arrested on multiple charges including murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, attempted manslaughter, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Cedeno is accused of stabbing and critically wounding 16-year-old Ariane Laboy. Police said he also stabbed and killed the teen’s close friend, 15-year-old Matthew McCree.

Investigators say Cedeno had been bullied by other students since the beginning of the school year. Police said Cedeno did not get into much detail on the nature of the harassment, only saying it was verbal, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.

But police said this was his first encounter with McCree and Laboy.

“He had problems before the start of school, but not with these two individuals,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said.  “Basically he said that it was first time that those two individuals, that he had a problem with.”

Authorities said the suspect purchased the switch blade online two weeks ago. Then on Wednesday, police said the two teens were sitting behind Cedeno in class and started throwing pencils at him.

Sources tell CBS2 that Cedeno left and went to the bathroom and came back and the pencils continued flying. Words were exchanged and a fight ensued between the suspect and McCree with Cedeno allegedly stabbing McCree with a knife.

They say Laboy jumped in trying to intervene, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.

“You’re just in class one day, and all of a sudden a kid pulls out a knife and stabs your friend and you’re watching your friend die on the floor and there’s nothing you can do,” Frankie Santiago said.

Santiago was in the third period history class when police said someone threw pencils at 18-year-old Cedeno.

“He pulled out a switch blade and I tried to stop my friend from going to him, and he didn’t hesitate to stick the blade in,” he said. “Ariane stood up and defended Matthew and he got hurt too.”

The commotion triggered a full school lockdown.

“We got on a lockdown, we got back to the closets and we just waited until it finished,” said student Rodolfo DelaCruz.

Nine-year-old third grader Omahira Gonzalez was also inside the school at the time.

“Kind of nervous,” she said. “Pretty scared.”

Her mother and other parents dropping off their children Thursday admit they’re fearful too.

“Not good,” her mom, Wanda Gonzalez said.

“We have one dead, one scarred and one in prison and a whole lot of children who are traumatized,” she told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina visited the school Thursday morning, where they met with teachers, students, parents and school safety agents as well union leaders and police.

Grief counselors are also being made available at the school where many parents are raising concerns about the building, which is home to two schools with kids from pre-K all the way through 12th grade.

“Junior high school shouldn’t be mixed with high school kids,” said parent Jamie Navarez. “Little kids, pre-K, fifth grade, 2nd grade.”

“Sometimes they fight a lot and there’s a lot of kids around and they don’t respect the little kids,” Omahira Gonzalez said.

Police said metal detectors are installed or removed at schools on a case by case basis.

“After yesterday’s incident, of course we’re going to evaluate what goes on throughout the school system,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said. “Our goal, of course, is to keep the children as safe as possible.”

Many believe if more security had been in place, this tragedy may have been prevented.

“They should have had metal detectors in this school,” parent Trina Nimmons said. “They shouldn’t have waited for somebody to die to put them in.”

Another parent named Tammy said the metal detectors better stay at the school permanently, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.

“I want the mayor to put metal detectors in these schools,” she said. “When this is a school with high school, junior high and elementary, they need metal detectors, that’s what they need, so de Blasio, get on your job.”

Some families say the bullying and lack of discipline for students is a widespread problem on campus and they are now thinking of finding new schools for their kids.

“This shouldn’t have happened,” parent Carmen Rodriguez said. “This shouldn’t have happened at all.”

The mayor and schools chancellor have promised parents they should not fear when sending their kids to school.

“We will use every measure to make sure every child is safe,” de Blasio said.

In a letter to students and families, Farina said “Nothing is more important than the safety of students and staff” adding that they are working with the NYPD “to conduct a thorough investigation and provide additional School Safety Agents to the school.”

“We stand with the entire city as we mourn the loss of this young life,” she said. “And we remain committed to ensuring every child is safe, every day.”

Boyce said as far as he knows, the suspect never reached out to anyone at the school about being harassed or bullied, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

The Legal Aid Society issued a statement saying they were representing Cedeno.

“Our Adolescent Intervention and Diversion, and Bronx Criminal teams were assigned Abel Cedeno this morning,” the statement said. “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.”

Following his arraignment, Cedeno was sent back to jail where CBS2 was told he is currently on suicide watch.

At McCree’s apartment a memorial was growing, and his stepfather said Matthew was no bully.

“Very smart, very loving,” he said, “Mother is in bad shape. She’s still in shock. She’s still not crying, so you know that’s bad.”

Cedeno’s mother is still stuckin Puerto Rico, but has been told about the murder charges against her son.

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