UPDATE: Police say attacker will be arraigned Monday. Officials are not releasing his name because he is a juvenile.
A 16-year-old Jonathan Law High School student is dead after being attacked by a boy in the school over what may have been a prom date refusal.
School officials say Maren Sanchez was a popular girl, a good student and student athlete well loved by her classmates at Jonathan Law High School.
The young woman, a member of the National Honor Society and president of her class last year, died early this morning after being attacked at the school.
Police this afternoon said a knife was recovered at the scene, and that the victim suffered lacerations to the neck. The attacker was a boy, and he attacked her in a hallway adjacent to a stairwell on the first floor of the school.
The attack took place at 7:15 a.m., and staff got involved quickly, according to Police Chief Keith Mello. Staff realized the victim was suffering life threatening injuries and began life saving efforts, which emergency medical technicians then took over.
The boy was handcuffed by the school resource officer, and is in police custody.
Sanchez was taken to Bridgeport Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 7:43 a.m., Mello said.
The police chief cautioned that the tragedy is still fresh and much information cannot be confirmed as the investigation continues. Investigators sent students home from school this morning because they considered the high school a major crime scene and wanted full access to the building.
“We are conducting a large number of interviews to determine how and why it happened,” Mello said.
Police are not releasing the name of the attacker because he is a juvenile. Mello could not speculate as to whether the boy will be tried as an adult.
Police have not confirmed a motive in the killing, but Internet reports suggest the girl’s stabbing was related to a junior prom scheduled for this evening at Vazzano’s in Stratford.
Tonight’s prom has been postponed and councilors will be available at the school today, this weekend and next week for students and staff wanting to talk.
“This is definitely a tragic day for Milford and even more for the Jonathan Law community,” Mello said.
Investigation will reveal if other students witnessed the attack. Mello said there may or may not have been witnesses, other than the school staff member who was the first on the scene.
Mello emphasized that the school is safe for students to return on Monday, and noted this was an isolated incident.
School Supt. Dr. Elizabeth Feser spoke during a press conference around noon Friday in the shopping center parking lot across from Jonathan Law, joined by a contingent of police and school officials.
She said the victim was “very, very well respected and liked.”
“She was a wonderful young woman,” Feser said.
Feser added that she knows many students will be struggling with what happened, and she urged them to talk to a couselor.
One teacher interviewed Friday said he is devastated, adding that Maren was a nice student who offered to help him learn the ropes when he started at Law as a new teacher.
“I don’t know how I’m going to teach on Monday,” the teacher said.
A Youtube video shows Maren singing the song Home, and that video was widely viewed on Friday.