STOCKTON, Calif. — A 15-year-old student died Monday after an intruder stabbed her in an apparently random attack on a California high school campus.
The Stockton Police Department arrested Anthony Gray, 52, late Monday on suspicion of murder in connection with the stabbing as detectives searched for a possible motive or connection between the suspect and the victim, police said.
“Detectives believe this appears to be a random act and they are trying to determine why this student was targeted,” the police department said in a statement.
Police said the stabbing took place shortly after 11 a.m. Monday at Stagg High School in Stockton, almost 50 miles south of Sacramento.
Gray is accused of driving to the high school, going through a campus gate and attacking the student before security and staff members were able to stop him, said John Ramirez Jr., the school district’s superintendent, at a news conference.
Stagg High School was locked down and the student was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the Stockton Unified School District said in a statement Monday.
“This is another act of violence that has triggered trauma in our community,” Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln said in an interview with the Stockton Record, part of the USA TODAY Network. “I want the public to know that the resources are going to be communicated and be made available that will help them navigate these very difficult times.”
The school district announced Monday that classes would continue at the high school on Tuesday with extra security on campus as well as counselors, mental health clinicians and psychologists
“It has been a sad day at SUSD,” the district said in an online update. “Our condolences go out to the student’s family, Stagg Family and our community.”
Ramirez said at a news conference that campus security “definitely will be re-evaluating.” He added that the tragedy “has had a traumatic effect on the city of Stockton and Stockton Unified School District.”
“As a parent, I want all the parents to know that the safety and security of our students are of the utmost importance to us,” he said.
The Stockton Police Department will have additional officers at the high school and will be working closely with the school district, Deputy Chief Eric Kane said at a Monday news conference
Gray was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail, where he was being held without bail, online court records show. Gray was due in court on Wednesday afternoon.