NASSAU –– A 12th grade Doris Johnson Senior High School student died in hospital yesterday afternoon after reportedly being stabbed during a brawl with several knife-wielding students from the same school in the parking lot of East Coast Pub and Restaurant on Prince Charles Drive.
The incident took place at around 2:30 p.m., police said.
A graphic video taken by someone who observed the fight was widely circulated on social media. It shows the victim, who appeared to be wearing brass knuckles, in an altercation with a male student as a female student attempted to separate the two.
Another male student wielding a large knife then lunged at the teenager and appeared to stab him several times.
Numerous bystanders watching the fight screamed as they realized the boy was being repeatedly stabbed. The wounded student managed to throw off his attackers and ran east on Prince Charles Drive.
A photo being circulated via WhatsApp showed the teenager lying face down on the ground. His shirt was soaked in blood.
In an interview outside Princess Margaret Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department yesterday, Assistant Commissioner Stephen Dean said the student was rushed to PMH, but was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The student’s mother accompanied him to hospital, according to authorities.
Two Doris Johnson students were seen sitting outside the A&E Department with a woman, all of them in tears.
A man, who broke down in tears and paced the parking lot, had to be calmed down by another relative.
Dean said police expect to have a suspect in custody very shortly and confirmed that police were searching for several students, who he said are persons of interest.
“We constantly use these opportunities to talk to our young men in particular that when it comes to conflicts, disputes, the way of the knife or the way of the gun is not the way to resolve them,” Dean told reporters.
“The police will continue to be vigilant and we want to applaud school officials and everyone who [prevents] these incidents from happening.”
When asked about school policing, Dean said the program is ongoing and officers are present within each public school.
In a statement, the Ministry of Education said Doris Johnson was dismissed early due to examinations. It said school and ministry officials were not aware of the motive for the stabbing.
“While our schools have adopted a zero tolerance for violence on campuses, we wish to remind our students that violence off campuses will not be condoned either,” read the statement.
“Today’s event is most unfortunate as the life of another young man has been taken. We must encourage our young people to resolve their conflicts in a more peaceful manner.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of the victim and our thoughts and prayers are with them and the Doris Johnson school family as well. We are deeply saddened by the tragic event that occurred today and once again, we encourage the public to embrace peace and love this holiday season,” read the statement.
The incident marks the 139th murder for 2015, the highest ever in The Bahamas in recorded history.