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Police: 4 Teens Stabbed Near Theater District After Fight Breaks Out Among Students

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Four students were stabbed outside a school near Manhattan's Theater District when a fight broke out among students, police say.

The stabbing happened just as school was getting out around 1:20 p.m. Wednesday. The school is around the corner from the new Broadway production of "Groundhog Day," as well as the revival of "Cats."

Police say a pair of 16-year-old students who had been suspended from school for fighting last week got into another fight Wednesday -- their first day back to school.

"One 16-year-old began to win the fight," NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said in a Wednesday afternoon press briefing. "Others then jumped into the fight."

During the melee, a 16-year-0ld with a knife slashed a 15-year-old int he side. He was taken to a hospital and is currently in surgery. The suspect stabbed three other students as well, according to police.

CBS2 cameras captured an image of an injured man in an ambulance shortly after the fight.

Police said none of the injuries to the victims are considered life threatening, and they've recovered the weapon.

"The knife was left in one of the individual's backpack," Boyce said. "That's where we recovered it."

Sherri Hodes, who lives on the same block as the school, told The Associated Press she saw the fight as she was walking her border collie mix, Sophie, but she didn't realize at the time that anyone had been stabbed.

"One guy was punching another guy, and the other guy wasn't really punching back. He got him on the ground, and he was punching him and punching him," Hodes said. "They were screaming, and people were running. It was so fast and so much was happening. It was crazy."

Hodes said she often sees fights among students at the school.

"They were having a beat down," Hodes said. "Their fists, a couple people were on the floor and the guy kept hitting him, screaming."

The school, Public School 35, has 306 students from first to 12th grades and includes special education.

A spokeswoman for the city's Department of Education said it was working closely with police.

"The safety of students and staff is our top priority," the spokeswoman said.

Police say they've identified the suspect -- a student at the school -- but are not releasing his name at this time. He was last seen fleeing the scene.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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