A 16-year-old student fatally stabbed a 15-year-old boy at a high school in St. Paul, Minn., on Friday morning in the city’s first homicide of the year, the police said.
Sgt. Mike Ernster, a spokesman for the St. Paul Police Department, said at a news conference that it was not immediately clear what led to the attack, which was reported around 11:45 a.m. local time.
The victim, a boy who was not publicly identified, was stabbed at an unspecified section of Harding High School. A leader of the teachers’ union said in a letter to its members that was posted on Facebook that the victim was a 10th grader.
The boy was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, Sergeant Ernster said. He said it was the first homicide of 2023 in St. Paul, a city of a little more than 300,000 people.
A 16-year-old student was taken into custody in connection with the attack. Sergeant Ernster said the weapon used was believed to be a fixed-blade knife.
There were 38 homicides in St. Paul in 2021, the most on record since 2020, when there were 30, according to data from the F.B.I. Figures for 2022 were not immediately available.
Sergeant Ernster said investigators would explore whether surveillance video from inside the school could shed light on what had happened. He said the police would also investigate rumors that a video of the attack had been posted on social media.
“On a personal level as a teacher and a parent, I’m enraged,” Leah VanDassor, president of the Saint Paul Federation of Educators Local No. 28, said in the letter that was posted on Facebook.
“I’m sad,” she continued. “I know there have been far too many similar incidents around our community that have left many of us heartbroken and hopeless.”
Ms. VanDassor asked that all staff members wear the Harding High School colors, maroon and gold, starting on Monday. She said “in this moment of despair” it was a symbolic gesture to show support for the school community.
Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota said on Twitter, “As the dad of a St. Paul student, I’m heartbroken for the Harding High School community and the family of a student who lost their life today.”
Eduardo Medina contributed reporting.