STOCKTON, Calif. — A 15-year-old student died after being stabbed at Stagg High School in Stockton on Monday, according to the Stockton Unified School District. In an update, a Stockton Police Department spokesperson said the stabbing "appears to be a random act."
She was identified by family as Alycia Reynaga.
John Ramirez Jr., Superintendent for Stockton Unified School District (SUSD), said at a press conference the student was stabbed multiple times. The girl was taken to a hospital where she later died.
"We want to offer from all of our Stockton Unified staff, prayer to the family. I can't even imagine that one," Ramirez said.
Earlier, the school district said the attack was not a random incident and that a "trespasser" was accused of driving up and targeting the student. A district spokesperson walked back on that, saying police are investigating the incident and have described it as a random attack.
In a news release, the Stockton Police Department said the suspect drove to the school's front parking lot, parked, walked over to the student and stabbed her. The suspect, identified as 52-year-old Anthony Gray, was quickly detained by a school district police officer.
"The fact that the individual was detained so quickly just pays credence to the fact that there were adults there and they were immediately accessible," Ramirez said.
The motive is still under investigation. Police are still trying to figure out why the student was targeted. Gray was booked into the San Joaquin County jail on a murder charge.
A statement from Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln said SUSD and the city of Stockton will be working together to "identify additional measures and resources" to ensure the safety of their students.
"My heart is shattered by the violence that ended the life of a young student today," Lincoln wrote in a statement. "No child should ever have to experience or witness such senseless acts of violence."
The Stagg High School softball team was among those mourning on Monday. Parents say the 15-year-old student killed in the stabbing was on the softball team.
"They practice everyday, and they are a real close-knit team and it was one of their best friends," said Issac, whose daughter was friends with the victim.
He said that the 15-year-old was also one of the team's star players.
"She was her teammate, softball teammate. She was on the JV team and she played varsity and she was one of the star catchers," Issac said.
He said both his daughter and others on the team are struggling with the traumatic loss.
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