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Student stabbed to death at Santa Rosa high school

Police and ambulance behind yellow police line do not cross tape
Police tape at a scene of an incident | Adobe Stock | Source: Adobe Stock

A 16-year-old boy who was stabbed to death during a fight Wednesday morning at a Santa Rosa high school has been identified as Jayden Jess Pienta, authorities said.

A junior at Montgomery High School, Pienta was stabbed at least three times during the fight inside an art classroom.

Staff at the school called police at 11:11 a.m. to report the fight, Santa Rosa police Sgt. Christopher Mahurin said. When officers arrived at 11:15 a.m., they found two boys with stab wounds and began lifesaving efforts.

The victims were taken to a hospital, where Pienta died. The other student, also a 16-year-old junior, suffered at least one stab wound but is expected to recover.

The suspect in the stabbing, a 15-year-old freshman at the school, fled and was eventually found by authorities hiding near a creek at Highway 12 and Farmers Lane. He was taken into custody and booked into the Sonoma County Juvenile Justice Center on suspicion of crimes that include homicide, attempted homicide, and having a weapon on a school campus.

Investigators said that an argument preceded the stabbing. About 11 a.m., Pienta and the other 16-year-old junior had walked into an art class that they were not attending and a fight broke out with a 15-year-old freshman, police said.

"The class teacher and three aides were able to briefly break up the fight, but the three students quickly began fighting again," Mahurin said.

The 15-year-old brandished a knife and allegedly stabbed both 16-year-olds, according to police. The suspect then fled the classroom and ran from the school campus, while the two injured students walked to the school's medical office. During the fight, there were 27 other students in the class, authorities said.

"This is truly a sad day," said Santa Rosa City Schools Superintendent Anna Trunnell at the news conference. "The tragedy that happened here today is heartbreaking."

Santa Rosa police detectives are investigating what led to the fight and the relationship between the students.