EAST HAVEN, Conn. — A 15-year-old from North Branford died from his injuries after he was assaulted with a knife during a fight, East Haven police said.
Police have identified him as Dustin Cecarelli.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide and said he died of a stab wound to the chest.
Police were called to the Grove Tuttle Elementary School in East Haven around 6:30 p.m. on the report of a fight between several people in the courtyard area. According to officials, Cecarelli was assaulted with a knife as the fight got physical.
Cecarelli was treated for his injuries at the scene by fire department personnel and then taken to Yale New Haven Hospital. He later died from his injuries.
Police said they wanted residents to know that all involved individuals in this altercation are accounted for and no threat to public safety exists.
"I saw all the police, there was kids running that were younger, scared because they saw some kid you know bleeding," said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.
She told FOX61 she sent an email to police asking for more patrols at schools and parks in the wake of this incident and hopes to start a neighborhood petition.
"Just because there is kids that congregate so you never know what’s going on but at least if they see police in the area they know that they’re not going to be able to have a fight or whatever if they know oh police could show up at any minute," she said.
East Haven Mayor Joseph Carfora said in a letter to the town that it was an isolated incident and police were working with the State's Attorney's office on the investigation.
“Senseless violence like this has no place in our community. The East Haven Police Department has the full support of my office to do whatever is necessary to bring those responsible to justice", said Carfora.
East Haven state representative Joe Zullo also released a statement Wednesday, saying in part, "In the wake of this tragedy, and particularly as we learn more about what precipitated it, we must all pledge to do whatever is necessary to help prevent anything like this from ever happening again.”
Police presence will be increased district-wide as a precaution, officials said.
"School is being monitored with what’s going on – there’s supposedly more cops around the rest of the area today," said Santiago Baez of East Haven. "They’re here. They weren’t being supervised. It’s after school. Things happen."
East Haven officials said that it is an active and ongoing criminal investigation, and they are working closely with the State's Attorney's office.
"As a precaution, I have asked for and been assured, that there will be increased police patrols at all schools, parks, and recreational facilities," said Carfora.
"Senseless violence like this has no place in our community. The East Haven Police Department has the full support of my office to do whatever is necessary to bring those responsible to justice."
Charges are pending, according to police.
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