ALEXANDRIA, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Alexandria police are investigating a fight that led to an 18-year-old student being fatally stabbed on Tuesday afternoon.
Officials say 18-year-old Luis Mejia Hernandez was the Alexandria city high school student stabbed during a fight in a shopping center on the 3600 block of King street.
David Davis witnessed the brawl, which authorities say involved more than 30 people.
"I was just hoping it wouldn’t go any further than it did but I seen when the gang signs went up that it was getting ready to jump off."
Davis was nearby at a table he set up in front of one of the shops to spread the word about a nonprofit which tries to stop school violence.
"We see it every day," Davis said. "When we go out in these venues we see kids that have nothing to do. They don’t have any programs, they don’t have anywhere to go, they have no one to talk to; and what are we doing as a community? It seems like we’re doing nothing."
Jennifer Brown, who lives about a mile away from the shopping center where the stabbing happened told FOX 5 she used to come down all the time but cut it to a few times a week.
"It’s been a long time coming because there’s been a lot of activity up here over the last few months," Brown said. "A lot of altercations a lot of violence a lot of just chaos. The kids are just they’re out control."
Brown said she feels it’s going to take more than beefing up police presence in the area for things to change.
"It starts at home," Brown said. "You got to tell your kids and spend time with your kids and teach them they have to respect when they leave the house, carry themselves a certain way because the way they are acting out in public they’re never going to have a really good life."
The principal of Alexandria City High School, Peter Balas, put out this message to the school community Tuesday night:
Dear Titan Students, Families, and Friends,
Today is a day of great sadness at Alexandria City High School (ACHS). I am saddened to share with you the news of the passing of one of our Titan seniors from the Class of 2022, Luis Mejia Hernandez. Luis died today, May 24, 2022 and he will be greatly missed by the Titan community, especially in the International Academy.
Today, the administrative and support teams met with teachers and staff who work with Luis. In addition, the administration met with all ACHS staff at the end of the school day to discuss the incidents of the day. On behalf of the entire Titan staff, I would like to express our deepest condolences and sympathies to Luis’ family and loved ones. Luis will be deeply missed, and will always and forever be a Titan.
At ACHS, we are working to put supports in place for our students and staff with the ACPS Department of Student Services and Equity and the Department of Human Resources. And, students can always reach out to a counselor, administrator or any trusted adult in ACHS if they are in need of help. Our Titans can also reach out to CrisisText and Crisis Link at any time, 24/7, through the contacts below:
Also, we will have students at all four campuses of ACHS transition to asynchronous virtual learning for Wed. May 25, 2022. All ACHS students should log into their accounts in Canvas or Clever for information specific to their courses.
Transitioning to virtual learning for our students tomorrow will allow our school community the time and space to grieve and process this loss. We will have support team members from the schools, Department of Student Services & Equity and the City’s Department of Community and Human Services available on site for anyone who needs that support.
I am here for you all if you need anything.
Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) placed the King Street and Minnie Howard Campuses of Alexandria City High School (ACHS) in "secure the building" status. "Secure the building" status means that the school day continues on a normal schedule inside the building but no one is allowed to enter or leave the school while the building remains secured.