LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy walking home from school was stabbed to death for his backpack, California authorities said.
Keshawn Brooks was assaulted as the suspect tried to snatch his bag Thursday afternoon outside Stephens Middle School in Long Beach, police said. The suspect ran off.
Brooks, a freshman at nearby Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo High School, was given first aid by witnesses before paramedics arrived. The teen was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead from serious stab wounds.
After interviewing witnesses, investigators named 18-year-old Giovanny Montelongo as a suspect. He was taken into custody Thursday evening at a Long Beach residence on suspicion of murder, said police spokeswoman Nancy Pratt.
"This was a murder, done outright, and he did not deserve this," Brooks' father, Keeyon Layton, said at a Thursday evening press conference. "And to the people who came to his aid, I would like to thank you, very much. It pleases me that he was not alone during his time of death."
The killing occurred as parents were picking up students at the middle school, police said. Investigators and Brooks' father implored any witnesses to come forward.
Montelongo was held without bail as a requirement of one of three outstanding warrants unrelated to Thursday's incident, Pratt said. The warrants were sealed because the previous alleged offenses occurred when he was a juvenile, she said.
Pratt didn't know if Montelongo has a lawyer. He was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.
The Long Beach Unified School District was providing grief counselors for students Friday.