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Santa Rosa teen in custody after stabbing fellow student; 2nd student arrested with knife in separate incident

PIX Now - Morning Edition 11/30/23
PIX Now - Morning Edition 11/30/23 14:05

Police in Santa Rosa dealt with two incidents involving knives at local high schools Wednesday, one of which resulted in a gang-related fight and stabbing.

A 14-year-old student at Santa Rosa High School was allegedly assaulted by another student with a knife on Wednesday morning, police said. A school administrator contacted the Santa Rosa Police Department around 10:15 a.m. about a possible stabbing.

An investigation revealed that the 14-year-old was near the school's baseball field at 8:30 a.m. when he was approached by the 16-year-old suspect. Police allege that they are both in rival gangs and began to argue. The argument escalated and the suspect allegedly pulled out a large kitchen knife, pushed the victim to the ground, and then made stabbing and slashing motions in the direction of the victim.

Both parties fled in different directions, but the 14-year-old contacted a family member and was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for lacerations to the left side of his torso, police said. He was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

At 5:30 p.m., police arrested the suspect at his residence in the 1400 block of West Avenue. A search warrant was carried out, and detectives allege they found gang-related evidence, a lower receiver of a privately manufactured ghost gun, and a knife matching the description given by the victim. According to police, the knife is 13 inches long with a 7-inch blade.

The suspect is a juvenile so his name is being withheld. However, he was booked into juvenile hall on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, being a minor in possession of a handgun, possessing a knife on campus, and a gang enhancement.

At about the same time that the report came in from Santa Rosa High School Wednesday morning, police were notified that a 14-year-old student at Montgomery High School had allegedly fled campus after administrators attempted to search his property for a knife. The school had been tipped off anonymously on its STOPit reporting system that the student had allegedly had a knife in his backpack.

The student was located by school staff in the area of Hahman Drive and Patio Court and police arrived while staff searched his backpack. Inside they allegedly found a 9-inch folding knife with a 4-inch blade.

The student was booked into juvenile hall on suspicion of possessing a knife on campus.

Students bringing knives to campus has been an ongoing issue in Santa Rosa, with multiple incidents at schools during the past year where teens were taken into custody after being found with knives in their possession. In early March, 16-year-old Montgomery High junior Jayden Pienta died after being fatally stabbed deadly by fellow 15-year-old student.

That deadly stabbing led to the school's principal and assistant principal being placed on leave when two more students were arrested for bringing knives onto campus in the weeks that followed the incident. In September, two Montgomery High students who are brothers were arrested in connection with an off-campus fight and an assault rifle being brought to school.

Anger over on campus violence has also led to student protests and calls for the school board to increase safety.  

Earlier this week, a judge ruled that the teen arrested in the fatal stabbing was not responsible for Pienta's death, according to a report by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.  

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