By Richard Weizel
MILFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) – A 16-year-old girl was killed on Friday in an attack inside a Connecticut high school and authorities were investigating reports she was stabbed by a fellow student after rejecting his invitation to the prom, police said.
The victim, Maren Sanchez, a junior at Jonathan Law High School in Milford, was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after the 7 a.m. attack, Milford Police Chief Keith Mello told a news conference.
Mello said she was stabbed by a 16-year-old male, who is now in custody. Police have not released his identity, but said he is likely to be arraigned later on Friday.
“There was blood on her neck. It was awful,” said 16-year-old Sam Garcia, a junior at the school, as he walked home after officials closed the school in the morning. “I saw the girl lying on the stretcher when they took her out.”
The incident took place on the morning of the junior prom, which was set to begin at 7 p.m. at a banquet hall in nearby Stratford. Because of the incident, the prom will be rescheduled, school officials announced.
Police were investigating reports from students that the girl had turned down the boy’s invitation to the prom.
Mello, the police chief, declined to confirm reports that a knife was used in the attack.
Elizabeth Feser, the city’s schools superintendent, said Sanchez was a student athlete and a member of the National Honor Society, an organization that recognizes high-achievers.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this very talented, energetic and popular young student,” Feser, who appeared to be on the verge of tears, told the news conference.
The school is in a seaside suburb on Long Island Sound about 11 miles southwest of New Haven.
The attack took place about two weeks after a student went on a stabbing spree a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, high school, injuring 22 people.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jonathan Allen; Editing by Gunna Dickson)