By Cleve Bryan
WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — Police say a 16-year-old girl died following a serious assault at a high school in Wilmington, Delaware.
The victim’s sister, Jackaira Triplett confirmed the 16-year-old’s name and photo to Eyewitness News, telling us that the victim was 16-year-old Amy Joyner.
Chopper 3 was over the scene of Howard High School of Technology on the 400 block of E. 12th Street.
Police say they received a call around 8:10 a.m. for an assault that happened in the girls’ bathroom involving three students, including the victim who passed away. Officials add that the victim did not live for very long following the assault.
Authorities are not saying exactly what happened, but the victim’s injuries were so severe she had to be airlifted to DuPont Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
Police said that they had at least two people that they were questioning, and as of Thursday afternoon, they were still conducting interviews.
“Staff was on hand, including their staff,” said Wilmington Police Department Chief Bobby Cummings. “She was given medical attention soon after the incident.”
No weapons were recovered. “There were a few girls that were involved and at this time, our police department is investigating the incident. We have people that we’re speaking with,” said Cummings.
Students were dismissed from school for the day and officials are determining whether they should open on Friday. Students described confusion when they heard the announcement that school was over and shock learning that someone died.
Senior Sherman Pride said that he didn’t know the victim, but that violence is not common at the school.
“It hit me right here,” Pride said as he placed his hand over his heart. “We’re Howard. We’re Wildcats. We’re supposed to stick together. What happened to the school spirit?”
The mayor of Wilmington, Dennis Williams, issued the following statement:
We are all deeply saddened by this tragedy, and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to the young girl’s family and friends as they grieve this terrible loss. Howard High School of Technology has a rich history in the City of Wilmington, and in this time of great tragedy, it is critical that we embrace the students, parents, faculty, and the entire Howard community.
Our entire city is shaken by the loss of this child’s life, but in this moment we should all come together to work collectively to address the serious needs of our youth. As a community, I know that our strength comes from the commitment that we all have to support our children. Now, more than ever, is the time that we must demonstrate that commitment.”
The New Castle County Vocational-Technical School District issued a statement that read in part:
It is with great sorrow that we must report that a Howard High School of Technology student died today at AI DuPont Hospital as the result of injuries she sustained from an altercation this morning at the school.
This is not only an unspeakable tragedy for her family, but also for the school, and the entire community.
We express our prayers and deepest sympathy to her family, who need your support and sensitivity at this time.
We are shaken but stand ready to provide support and care to the family, to Howard students and staff, and to all of those affected by this act of senseless violence. We ask that you do the same.
Schools officials did not speak with Eyewitness News, but the police did say that if the school decides to open tomorrow, it will be with grief counselors.