A vigil is being held Thursday afternoon to remember a 16-year-old girl who was stabbed to death at Warren Fitzgerald High School on Wednesday morning. 7 Action News has learned the victim is Danyna Gibson.
Police say a 17-year-old girl is in custody for the stabbing death. The two girls had known each other and had been friends, and were both straight-A students.
According to the Gibson's family, she was a member of the cross country team, robotics club, color guard, marching band and National Honor Guard Society, student council and generation of promise.
Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said there is a male student who is also involved in the incident, and it's possible that both the victim and the suspect had a relationship with the male student. He is cooperating in the investigation, according to police.
We're told the victim was stabbed twice in the chest.
“She was running towards me, she was screaming, and all I saw was the girl catch her and stab her in her chest,” said Francesca Pascua.
Francesca says she sits in front of Danyna during their economics class. She says Danyna tried to run away but ran into a group of students when the suspect caught up to her.
“All I just saw was her running trying to save herself, and that's when she stopped, and the girl grabbed her and stabbed her,” said Francesca.
Francesca says as Danyna collapsed to the floor, the teacher worked on getting the suspect out of the classroom.
“She ran out the classroom while the teacher was pushing her out and she was saying I’m going to kill you I am going to slit your throat she was saying crazy things and like running around in circles,” said Francesca.
A School Resource Officer was on hand quickly during the incident, and a teacher also came to the assistance of the officer that was administering CPR to the victim.
Dwyer said that they are asking for a murder warrant charging her with homicide, but the degree will be determined by the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office.
"This is the first type of situation we've had in the school district in the past 50 years," Dwyer said. "Officers can't recall a case where a student was actually murdered at a high school in Warren.
The school's superintendent released a letter on the school's website Thursday addressing the incident:
Today, members of the Senior Council and high school staff held a memorial vigil to honor the life of Danyna Gibson. The Fitzgerald community gathered to send love and support to the student’s family and her peers. Our thoughts and prayers go out to each of the families who have been affected by the tragic loss. The district has reached out to the family of this student to express our condolences during this difficult time. Our attention is now focused on the students that are struggling to cope with the loss of their friend, teammate, member of the FHS band and choir.
The experts tell us that when a student experiences an unexpected event, they sometimes need help in coping with the tragedy. Discussing thoughts and feelings about a loss is important to help your child work through his/her concerns, fears and/or grief.
Staff at Fitzgerald High School has been available to support students in need today and we will continue to reach out to those who have been directly affected by this death. Please contact your child’s counselor if you have concerns and would like additional support for your child.
While students are dealing with their grief, be prepared for tears. Some students, on the other hand, may be very quiet or seem to be in a daze. For some children a death of someone they know may remind them of some other loss in their lives. For other children this may be their first encounter with death.
In order to help your children, we would like to provide a few suggestions for helping your student through this most difficult time:
- Be a good listener. Listen carefully for any misconceptions or distortions the child may have.
- Spend extra time talking and being with your child.
- Encourage your child to ask questions and to discuss or write about their feelings.