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Students return to Aptos High School after deadly stabbing on campus

APTOS, Calif. (KION) -- A growing memorial outside Aptos High School marks the somber mood as students returned to campus Friday for the first time since tragedy struck. A 17-year-old, who was beginning his senior year, was stabbed and killed on campus Tuesday. Two more students are in juvenile hall for his murder.

Ongoing grief counseling is available to support students as they adjust to being back on campus.

"Walking in, the environment was really sad but I feel like as the day went on we tried to uplift each other," an Aptos High student told KION. "It was really nice for them to give us our own space to process our emotions and talk about our emotions if we felt comfortable."

Sheriff's deputies will also be at the school through at least the next week to make sure students and families feel safe.

"A family sent their child to school on Tuesday and they didn't make it back home. We want to be here to ensure that never happens again," said Santa Cruz County Sheriff's spokesperson Ashley Keehn.

The Pajaro Valley Unified School District voted to remove school resource officers from campuses just last year. They're now holding a meeting on September 15th to discuss bringing them back permanently. Students and parents we spoke to say it would make them feel more comfortable after this deadly incident.

"It's horrible for the kids, it's horrible for the parents. My wife cried when this was all going on and we didn't even know who was kid was. I think we need to get the Sheriffs back on campus. They were here in a positive way and the kids trusted them," said Carlos Luis, who has two kids attending Aptos High.

The Santa Cruz County District Attorney's office says the two suspects will be arraigned virtually in a juvenile court.

The student who was killed is not being identified out of respect for his family. A vigil is being held in his honor this Sunday at Romo Park in Watsonville starting at 10 a.m. The public is invited to join.

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Lisa Principi

Lisa Principi is a weekend producer at KION News Channel 5/46.

Comments

4 Comments

  1. “The student who was killed is not being identified out of respect for his family.” Which gets the prize for the biggest lie told in media for 6 months. Anyone who knows anyone in Aptos already knows the name. Any news media can easily find out and seek annoying intrusive interviews. So, what ‘respect’ is being referred in the statement? My guess is it is a lame attempt to stop ‘racism’. We already know the 17 year old perp was a gang member. Was the victim Hispanic? White? Black? Asian? No matter which, the bleeding hearts will fear it will have a backlash of some nature. How about stop treating we educated adults like morons for a change?

  2. Not revealing the victim’s name is an attempt to stop racism?? How? So, if they did reveal the name, does that mean they are not attempting to stop racism? Again, how?. I think this has to do with the victim’s age, under 18 yo, and the ongoing investigation. This is by far not the biggest lie told in the last 6 months by media sources. I’ll take “things an educated adult might think of” Alex, for $1000.

  3. Not revealing the victim’s name is an attempt to stop racism?? How? So, if they did reveal the name, does that mean they are not attempting to stop racism? Again, how?. I think this has to do with the victim’s age, under 18 yo, and the ongoing investigation.

  4. @SpanFly
    IMO, not printing names is motivated as they stated in San Francisco…if the victim’s name is Hispanic, then people think it is gang related, and they thus feel more racism. If the victim is white, then people are angered that some Hispanic gangster killed a white boy. Of course, that thinking is ridiculous, but it is how some people in power think. Media feels that either way, they are helping spread racism. They feel that if readers/viewers are kept ignorant, everyone if better off. If the news story stated the name was being withheld at the ‘family’s request’, I would look at it very differently. I worked in media and marketing way too long to ever, ever, trust the motives of either.

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