A school assault in Delaware Thursday morning (April 21) turned deadly when a teenager was pronounced dead following the fight with two other teens.
The News Journal reports Amy Inita Joyner-Francis died shortly after she was airlifted to a local hospital. The incident took place inside a bathroom at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington at about 8 a.m. Students gave conflicting reports about the origin of the fight. While many claimed the fight was centered around a “love triangle,” friend and fellow student Kayla Sutrell, stated otherwise. Sutrell told the news outlet she spoke with Joyner-Francis Wednesday who said she planned to “settle beef” with another teen that had nothing to do with any boys.
A witness who was in the bathroom says during the fight, Francis-Joyner slipped and hit her head on the sink, falling unconscious.
“She was fighting a girl and then that’s when all these other girls started banking her – like jumping on her,” the student said. Police do not believe weapons were used. Two teens who were a part of the fight were taken in for questioning by police.
Soon after news traveled of the teen’s death, #RIPAMY trended on social media, following the passing of music icon, Prince. Shytera Dawkins, another friend of Amy described the 16-year-old as energetic and bubbly.
“All I wanted to do with my friend was walk across the stage and get our diplomas,” the 16-year-old said. “And now that dream is taken away because she’s not there.”
Officials also spoke to reporters about the tragedy. Attorney General Matt Denn called the news shocking.
“I’ve dealt with the details of a couple of dozen homicides, and they’re all tragedies,” Denn said. “But the brutal beating death of a child, allegedly at the hands of another child, in a school is shocking even to those of us whose daily work involves dealing with the aftermath of violence.”
Principal Stanley Spoor and Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams held a conference where they sent condolences to the teen’s family.
“My heart is broken,” Williams said. “I am so upset that a young lady lost her life today. Things like this shouldn’t happen. My heart bleeds for the family, the kids who go to this school and the administrators, and our city.”
Students are expected to return back to school tomorrow, but with an early dismissal. Grief counselors and mental health groups will also help students express their feelings on the incident.
Police are still investigating what actually caused the fight in the bathroom.