SANTA ROSA -- Olivia Cruz had been best friends with Jayden Pienta since they met in kindergarten. She was there as the 16-year-old fought for his life.
Pienta wasat Montgomery High in Santa Rosa -- a brazen crime that was witnessed by more than two dozen other classmates.
A 15-year-old freshman has been booked on suspicion of homicide and other charges. A second 16-year-old junior was injured and hospitalized.
Meanwhile, investigators were interviewing the 27 students who were inside the classroom at the time, as well as the teacher and teacher's aides, trying to determine the motive behind the fight and stabbing.
The attack has sent a shock wave through the Santa Rosa community as students, parents, teachers and local residents wrestle with their emotional responses to the deadly incident.
Cruz was also struggling with the loss of her friend. She called 911 after the stabbing and walked the bleeding Jayden to the school's nurse's office.
"The last words before his breath was gone was that he told me that -- he was like -- 'Olivia I love you, everything will be okay. I promise it will be okay. I love you with all my heart. Don't ever forget that,'" she told KPIX.
Jayden was taken from the school to an area hospital for treatment, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Cruz shared video she took with Jayden. She says she could always count on her best friend to comfort and make you smile. Now, it will be incredibly difficult for her to come back to school.
"I did feel safe. I had Jayden next to me," she said. "He's always been protecting me. Personally I will not be coming to school for a long time. School just turned for the worst."
Hailey Mwangi was also a friend of Jayden's. She like some others are wondering if anything could've been done to save her friend's life.
"I feel like this could've been prevented if they would've taken action sooner," Mwangi said. "Because I mean, everyone knows a lot of people do bring weapons to school and a lot of people do have knives. I feel like they're not taking enough action as they could be and that could've been prevented."
Family and friends confirm Jayden and the 15-year-old suspect had confrontations in the past. Never did anyone imagine it would end with Jayden losing his life.
"This is where we trust our children to go," said Renee Helm, Jayden's aunt. "This is their school. This is where they are supposed to be safe. He had just asked his dad to take him out on home school because it had gotten so bad at Montgomery High School."
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