Suspect charged in Coral Gables High stabbing
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (WSVN) -- Students dressed in black returned to school a day after a 17-year-old was stabbed to death in the courtyard of Coral Gables Sr. High School.
Seventeen-year-old Andy Rodriguez has been charged with one count of second degree murder after he confessed to stabbing Juan Carlos Rivera multiple times on campus Tuesday.
Students said what started as a fist fight turned into a deadly stabbing when Rodriguez pulled out a switchblade and stabbed Rivera multiple times. "They were just pushing off each other and at one moment, one student pulled out a knife," said Felix Cedeno. "I don't know if it was a switch blade or a box cutter, and he stabbed the victim three times."
Miami-Dade Police said Rodriguez confessed to the murder and is currently at a juvenile assessment center in Downtown Miami. He will appear in court Wednesday morning.
Article Image 2Cedeno recalls the horrifying incident that occurred sometime after 9 a.m. "One wound on the chest, another wound on the collar bone and one right behind the kidney. I was like, I can't believe this is happening. I see a guy bleeding, I see him in pain holding his chest, and as soon as he fell to the ground I ran over to help him as soon as I could, while calling 911," he said. "He backed off, he looked at him with an angry face and then he ran off towards the Riveria side."
Peers said the two teens were fighting over a girl.
Officials locked down the school as students peered out of their classroom windows. Parents rushed to the scene, frantic and worried about their children. "A kid just died, just passed away that's what they say," said one parent.
Meanwhile, Rivera's cousin went to the school hoping to find him. Rivera just moved to South Florida from Cuba five months ago. "I asked a girl, 'Hey, do you know my cousin,' and she says 'Who's your cousin?' and I told her the name and showed her a picture and she says, 'Oh, find out, because I think that's the guy that got killed,'" said Laura Peinado, as she sobbed.
Five years ago, a student at Southwood Middle School was stabbed to death in a bathroom by a knife-wielding student. The parents of Jaime Gough were reminded of their own loss, when the news broke of Rivera's death. "No parent would like to go through that. You send your kid to school and you expect them to come back home," said Jorge Gough.
The Gough family said they will pray for Rivera's family and continue to lament that the change they had hoped to see in schools since their own son's murder, still hasn't happened. "I've been going through this for five years and I still haven't seen anything happen at the schools," said Gough. "Metal detectors or something for the kids. We're spending money on stuff and our children are dying in the schools."
Parents who have any questions, concerns or would like grief counseling should call the parent hotline at 305-995-3000.