NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 16-year-old New Rochelle High School student has surrendered to police in the fatal stabbing of a fellow classmate — a stabbing that has left the community in shock.
Z’Inah Brown of Yonkers was taken into custody and charged in connection with the death of 16-year-old Valaree Megan Schwab, police said.
Brown made no statements as she surrendered to the New Rochelle Police Department around 1 p.m. Thursday.
Investigators say Schwab was with her boyfriend around noon Wednesday when she had the first of several confrontations with a group of five or six other male and female teens at various fast food joints along North Avenue.
The altercation lasted about 10 minutes, ending in the Dunkin’ Donuts on North Avenue.
Authorities said the victim tried to fend off her attackers with pepper spray, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported. Police said Schwab was stabbed twice in her side with a steak knife. The group then fled the scene.
“It happened so quickly,” the manager of the Dunkin’ Donuts told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell. She said she heard screams and then called 911.
Schwab was taken to Jacobi Hospital, where she later died.
“There appeared to be some sort of ongoing disagreement between the victim and at least one of the members of the group,” New Rochelle Acting Police Commissioner Joseph Schaller said at a news conference.
Sources say both young women were being raised in difficult family situations, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
“She pepper-sprayed my brother-in-law so I’m not surprised she would pepper spray someone in her own class, her own grade,” said New Rochelle grad Brittany Lebron.
New Rochelle High School students returned to class Thursday, many shocked and upset.
“I was very surprised,” said student Myrline Charles.
“Lately, there’s a lot of things happening and it’s kinda scary to come to school knowing people are being hurt,” said student Allison Quigley.
“She was a good person,” said student Jennifer Oliveros. “She didn’t deserve to go like that.”
Schwab was politically active and in one video, describing herself as a “young communist,” Aiello reported.
Schwab lived near the Long Island Sound with her father. Sources say Brown really had no fixed address, but most recently had been staying in Yonkers, even as she attended New Rochelle High School, Aiello reported.
Police are retracing her movements, and believe she briefly re-entered the school building after the stabbing.
Westchester DA Anthony Scarpino has charged Brown as an adult, with one count of second-degree murder.
She made a brief court appearance Thursday and will be held until a formal arraignment next week.