SPRING, Texas - One person was killed and three others injured after a stabbing Wednesday morning at Spring High School. Authorities say one lone suspect has been arrested in the case and is now charged with murder.
It happened around 7:10 a.m. at Spring High off I-45. Authorities said two school employees called police saying multiple people had been stabbed.
The soccer coach who dialed 911 stayed on the line with dispatchers until paramedics arrived, describing the tragic scene as school nurses and an athletic trainer gave CPR to the victim.
"We were told there was a fight. People started running. The next thing you know we had to get on the ground," the coach said on the call.
The coach then told police the victim was having trouble breathing. The coach told dispatchers three other students were in the nurse's office with stab wounds while this was all going on.
The sheriff's office confirmed that three people were injured and one person was killed during the incident that started with a physical confrontation involving a "cutting instrument."
One of the three students, a 16-year-old boy, was transported via LifeFlight to Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute. He's listed in good condition.
Two other patients were transported via ambulance to Houston Northwest Medical Center with minor injuries. Of those two victims, one was transported to Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute Wednesday afternoon in good condition.
The dad and aunt of 17-year-old Joshua Broussard confirmed to Local 2's Robert Arnold that the sophomore was killed in the stabbing.
"I went in, but I didn't want to go all the way to see him laying on the ground. That would have been too drastic," said Jason Broussard, Joshua's father.
Sources told Local 2 the trouble may have started on Tuesday, when Broussard elbowed another student's girlfriend.
According to investigators, just before the bell rang on Wednesday, someone allegedly bumped one of the victims as he walked through the cafeteria. A fistfight erupted and quickly turned deadly.
Investigators believe only one of the four suspects was armed with a knife and in just a few seconds he managed to stab all four victims. Authorities have not recovered the weapons used during the incident.
Investigators say school police responded in less than a minute, but by that time Broussard was already dead.
The Harris Co. Sheriff's Office said the sole suspect in the case is 17-year-old Luis Alonzo Alfaro. He has been charged with murder.
Deputies earlier took four persons of interest into custody to question them. Two of them -- a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old -- are now considered witnesses to a crime, according to investigators.
Detectives also took an adult relative of one of the suspects into custody after he refused to cooperate with investigators when they went to his house.
All of the victims and three of the persons of interests are students in Spring ISD, according to the Sheriff Garcia.
Sheriff Garcia said investigators were looking into suggestions that the stabbings were related to gang activity. However, deputies had not been called to the school about gang violence before Wednesday.
Broussard's family said the teen had nothing to do with gang relations.
"He wasn't a bad kid, he wasn't with no gangs or none of that. He was straight books and school," said Jason Broussard.
Jason Broussard also said his son was a true cowboy.
"He was in the rodeo, teen roping. (He) liked horses, cattle, anything to do with farming," said Jason Broussard.
Jason Broussard believes his son was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Robert Johnson, Joshua Broussard's grandfather, said all he wants is justice.
"I think they need to be caught and prosecuted," said Johnson.
A pastor for another of the young victims says he believes Wednesday's stabbing is more about senseless violence than gang activity.
"This was not gang violence, this was not gang violence. This was a lack of supervision and kids in a difficult situation were left uncovered and unprotected," said Pastor E.A. Deckard with the Greenhouse International Church.
When Local 2 Investigates tried to speak with Spring ISD Police Chief Victor Mitchell about gang activity on the campus...
"We'll I'm not sure of the gang activity on our campus, but one of the things we've done to make sure we don't have gang activity on our campus is we've implemented a gang task force to deter activity," Chief Mitchell said.
However, state records examined by Local 2, the latest numbers available, show during the 2011-12 school year for the entire Spring Independent School District there were 15 incidents of gang related school violence. Five prohibited weapons were confiscated, along with 1,250 fights reported and 45 non-illegal knives found.
School under lockdown for hours as parents worry
The school was placed under lock down shortly after the stabbing was reported.
"We want to ensure parents that we're going to do all we can to deter unwanted activity and make sure that this doesn't happen again," Spring ISD Chief of Police Victor Mitchell said.
Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Ralph Draper said during the news conference that the school first took care of security measures, then protected the integrity of the investigation before communicating with parents over what happened at the school.
Dr. Draper asked everyone to keep the families of the victims and the families of all the students at Spring ISD in their thoughts and prayers.
Students were expected to be released at 10 a.m. but that was delayed. Just after 1 p.m., students were released.
According to Spring ISD officials, Spring High School will be closed on Thursday and Friday. Students will report back to school on Monday. Friday night's football game has also been canceled.
Spring High School sent out the following email to parents at 10:03 a.m.:
"This is an important message from Spring High School. Based on a preliminary report, a fight occurred this morning in the cafeteria. There has been one fatality and three students have been transported to hospitals with injuries. All other students are safe in their classrooms and will remain there while the investigation continues. Students will be released as soon as we have been given permission from the investigating authorities. We will call you again as soon as we have more details."
Parents and other families lined up along Cypresswood Road waiting to be reunited with their kids. Just prior to the students being released, a group of parents gathered together, held hands and formed a prayer group.
One parent we interviewed live on Local 2 spoke with his son on the phone inside the school. The student told him he was safe and watching the news coverage on TV.
Another parent told Local 2, "I have two daughters here....My daughter had text me to let me know that the stabbing is going on. But I have yet to hear or get texts from anybody at Spring letting me know that this event took place."
The grandmother of a 12th grader and an 11th grader at the school was told by the students that the principal put them back inside the classroom.
"He said that a big fight broke out. And that's all he knows. A big fight broke out and several people got stabbed and cut," she told us.
"When we do re-open the school, we will have a high level of security on campus," said Dr. Draper.
Crisis counselors will be available to assist students and additional security will be on campus as needed.
A vigil is planned for Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the Spring Baptist Church, located at 1027 Spring Cypress Road.
Officials are setting up a phone line for parents to call with questions for the school. It will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. The information phone number is (281) 891-6575.
Anyone with information about those involved with the stabbing, what weapons were used or where the weapons are should call the Harris County Sheriff's Office at 713-967-5810 or the Crime Stopper tip line at 713-222-TIPS.
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