NEW YORK — A high school student who hadn’t been getting along with two classmates suddenly attacked them with a switchblade during history class Wednesday, killing one boy and gravely wounding another, police said.
Fifteen to 20 students witnessed the attack. After leaving the classroom, 18-year-old Abel Cedeno handed the bloodied knife to a school counselor he met in the hall, then went to an assistant principal’s office and quietly waited for authorities to arrive, police said.
The dead student, who was stabbed in the chest, was 15. A 16-year-old was stabbed in the chest and side and was hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
Cedeno was arrested on charges of murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, attempted manslaughter, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
The stabbing happened about 15 minutes into third period at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation, a middle and high school in the Bronx that shares a building with an elementary school.
Students described tense moments huddled in closets and in classrooms while the school was locked down, wondering what was happening.
“The guidance counselor couldn’t even keep herself calm,” said eighth-grader Abbie Mincey. The counselor told them: “I’ve never seen so much blood in my life.”
It was the first homicide inside a New York City school since 1992, when two teenagers were shot to death in the hallway of a Brooklyn high school about an hour before Mayor David Dinkins was to visit the school to talk about violence.
Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said the 18-year-old was being questioned by police.
Authorities were looking into whether the teen had been bullied, but it appeared his dispute with the victims had been going on for about two weeks, Boyce said. They had been tossing paper at one another shortly before the stabbing, authorities said.