A 16-year-old student at Bassett High School in La Puente, Calif., was stabbed three times by a fellow student on the school’s campus Wednesday afternoon, shortly after classes were dismissed for the day, NBCLA reports.
According to CBS LA, friends identified the victim, who was stabbed in the face, neck and chest, as Giovanni Renteria.
He was taken to County-USC Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, and was in stable condition.
The incident took place just before 3 p.m., in a parking lot outside the school’s dismissal gate. CBS LA reports the two male students became involved in a physical altercation, when one pulled a knife and stabbed the other in the cheek.
“I’m standing there next to those bushes and I just see him coming, hand on his face, blood all over the place dripping. Everyone was screaming, ‘Oh my God, he’s been stabbed,’” Luis Prado, a student at Bassett, told the station. “He had his hand pressed against his face. You could tell he was in pain.”
According to NBC LA, Bassett Unified School District Superintendent Martin Galindo said the fight could have been precipitated by a verbal altercation the two boys were involved in Tuesday. He was unaware of any gang connection the students might have had.
Sgt. James Beamon, a spokesperson for the Sheriff's Department, called the school "a neutral area" for gangs, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"A lot of the times you can tell. A guy may have tattoos. It may be the clothing that he wears, but in this particular situation, it was unclear to the investigators," Beamon told the paper.
Galindo said the stabbing occurred with school security and administrators nearby.
"We are surprised that this would happen with everyone around,” he told NBC LA.
The 16-year-old perpetrator, also believed to be in 11th grade, fled the scene before sheriff’s deputies arrived, but has now been arrested and is in custody, according to KTLA. Police would not release the student’s name because he is a minor, reports CBS LA.