STOCKTON (CBS13) — A vigil was held Monday evening for 15-year-old Stagg High School student Aliycia Reynaga, who was stabbed to death earlier in the day in front of the campus. It's an incident that has sparked questions about the school's flawed security measures.
Parents, fellow students and family want to know why a gate was not closed at the time of the stabbing that allowed the suspect to enter campus and take the life of a young student, friend, and softball player.
Reynaga, a catcher, was a Stagg High School softball standout.
"It hurts," said Vincent Enriquez, travel softball coach. "Everybody here, we loved this girl more than anyone in the world."
Reynaga's family and coaches share photos of her in action.
"Her catching's amazing. She's a raw athlete," Enriquez said. "It's just sad to see her life cut down short."
Reynaga was stabbed in the school's parking lot after police said a trespasser drove onto campus and attacked the freshman. Authorities said the attack appears to be a random act. A weapon has been recovered.
"Who would want to do this to this kid?" Enriquez said.
Police say the suspect—identified as Anthony Gray, 52—was detained on campus, but now students and parents are concerned Stockton schools are easy targets.
"They're never closed," one student said referring to campus gates.
The student we spoke to was shaken by the stabbing and said gates are frequently left open with little security as visitors enter.
"Very rare there are officers there at all. Very rare," the student said. "I don't want to lose any more people like that. That shouldn't have happened today."
Family, friends and teammates gathered just steps away from the crime scene Monday night to remember Reynaga—shocked her life was taken too soon.
"I'll always have that empty space in my heart," said Lia Medrazo, the school's softball coach. "The girls are going to miss her and I hope her sister comes back and wants to play for her."
Reynaga's coaches and teammates call her Lala. Her family said they want her remembered as a good person and a star on and off the field.
During an afternoon press conference, the Stockton Unified superintendent said he will be reviewing security protocols across the district and providing counselors for any student or faculty who may need them. As for the school's softball team, they have canceled their game schedule for the week.
Gray faces homicide-related charges.
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