Latest updates on deadly stabbing at Harding High School
Plus …St. Paul mom encourages kindness acts to honor 22-year-old son killed by gun violence.
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Deadly stabbing at Harding High School in St. Paul: Latest updates, victim ID’d
Classes are canceled at Harding High School in St. Paul on Monday after a stabbing left a student dead on Friday. Trauma teams are at all St. Paul schools to help students cope with this tragedy in the days ahead.
The St. Paul teacher’s union has planned a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. Monday outside of Harding High School.
What we know about Harding HS stabbing
St. Paul police confirmed a 15-year-old student was fatally stabbed by another student at Harding High School on Friday, Feb. 10.
On Monday, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office identified the victim as Devin Scott, 15, of St. Paul.
Sgt. Mike Ernster said the school followed its safety procedures and went into lockdown at approximately 11:45 a.m. Friday. Police were called to the school, and when they arrived, they found school staff members providing aid to a 15-year-old boy who had “apparent stab wounds.” It was the victim’s first day at Harding High School.
The victim was taken to Regions Hospital, where he died. Officers located a possible suspect, a 16-year-old student, and took them into custody. Criminal charges have not yet been filed.
The school began dismissing students early at 1:20 p.m. and canceled all Friday evening activities and weekend events at the school, the district and police said.
The incident marked the first homicide in St. Paul in 2023.
Demands for more security in St. Paul schools
While parents are concerned about guns in schools, for many in St. Paul, Friday’s deadly fight has shifted the focus to what’s being done to stop students from settling their arguments with violence.
Those inside Harding High School at the time say the two students involved had a complicated history and the situation escalated because one was armed with a knife.
Violence involving SPPS students
This wasn’t the first violent incident involig students this month. In fact, it’s the third incident in about three weeks.
In late January, a 16-year-old was shot in the head at the Jimmy Lee Rec Center across the street from Central High School.
A few days later, a teacher was grazed by a bullet outside Washington Technology Magnet School.
Community leaders held an emergency meeting this weekend, pushing for increased community patrols around schools. The meeting was held inside Miki Frost’s Truce Center, a place he created to mentor kids in the community and resolve disputes among them.
“We have lost control of our community, that sense of a village,” Frost said. “We all knew each other, cared about each other, respected each other, those days are gone…This young brother last night did not deserve to lose his life. That was his very first day going there, and he lost his life on his first day.”
The group plans to show up at the next school board meeting to lay out their plans to keep students safe.
“Stand outside of the school, stand out in front of the school, let’s start patrolling around,” Frost said.
Superintendent: ‘Our kids are hurting’
“We are not okay,” St. Paul Superintendent Joe Gothard said in a recorded statement Friday. “Our kids are not okay as evident by this event has also been marked with other incidents throughout our city. Whether it’s in our schools or in our community that tells us that our kids are hurting.”
“Our staff are struggling to support them and know what to do and this is time for us once again to come together, to work together, to make sure that we’re supporting everyone in coming through in these times of great grief and tragedy as we move forward together.”
St. Paul Board of Education statement (Feb. 10)
Today, the SPPS community lost a precious young person to violence. The Board of Education’s thoughts are with the family and friends of this young person and the entirety of the Harding community, whose lives will be forever changed by their experiences. There will be time to talk, listen, and act but for now, let us sit with the heaviness of our grief and find ways to be a comfort for one another. We ask our Saint Paul neighbors to hold our hurting community close to their hearts and be a source of strength to lean on in the days to come.
Catch Up Quick
👮 Sources say the suspected shooter is now dead after shootings at Michigan State University that killed three and injured five others in East Lansing on Monday night.
🏛️ The White House on Monday defended the shootdowns of three unidentified objects in as many days even as it acknowledged that officials had no indication the objects were intended for surveillance in the same manner as the high-altitude Chinese balloon that traversed American airspace earlier this month.
🚨 New federal data shared by U.S. health officials details “record-high levels” of violence, sadness, and suicide risk among American teenage girls and those in the LGBTQ+ community, calling schools a “vital lifeline” to help struggling young people.
🏎️ This 75th season of NASCAR begins Sunday with the big race and it will be a year of celebration and transition.
St. Paul mom encourages kindness acts to honor 22-year-old son killed by gun violence
Days after Christmas, 22-year-old Alex Becker was shot dead only steps away from his mother’s home. Now, his mom is hoping to interrupt the cycle of violence in St. Paul with kindness and generosity.
For a month and a half, Tara Becker has been forced to wake up in a world without her son Alex.
“I feel like every mom says it: ‘They have the best kids.’ But it’s not even that Alex was the best kid. He was the best person I’ve ever known ,” she told FOX 9.
Every day, she thinks of the moments that made up his life: moments of kindness.
“He’d buy his coworkers lunch. He would buy his brothers needless toys,” Tara Becker said.
The 22-year-old was walking home from work on Dec. 29 when he was shot and killed behind his mom’s St. Paul home in the city’s North End.
“He was home. He just didn’t make it inside his house,” said Alex’s aunt, Hidy Hammarsten.
Two men have been charged in connection with Alex’s death, the more recent happened Friday. Court documents suggested he was targeted for a robbery and then murdered. His mom was waiting up for him at the time, and to this day, she still struggles to understand why this terrible act happened.
“If these people are, in fact, the guilty parties, (I hope they) are not able to hurt anybody else because it was senseless. But nothing would make it better. Because nothing is going to bring Alex back,” Tara Becker said.
Though the motive still remains unclear to her, one thing is clear: She wants something positive to come out of his death. Since then, she’s found comfort in stories of her son’s generosity. This one came from someone he used to walk past on his way to high school.
“She wrote me a letter about how every single day, he would stop and talk to her, check on her and see how she is doing,” she said.
Hammarsten created a Facebook page asking people to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day on Feb. 17. Dozens of people have pledged kindness acts, including putting quarters in the carts at Aldi or paying for someone’s coffee. Tara Becker asked that they mention Alex’s name when they do these random acts.
“It’s easy to be angry, and it’s easy to justify doing bad things. Kindness needs more of a push for most people. It didn’t for Alex but for most people,” she said.
Through each random act of kindness, Alex’s family hopes to start a ripple of love.
“He’s not here, but I wanted to keep that part of him in the world,” Tara Becker said.
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