Fouts: Girl posted threat about classmate online before stabbing
Warren — A 17-year-old girl who allegedly killed her classmate by stabbing her inside a Warren Fitzgerald High School classroom announced on social media "what she planned on doing to" her former friend, according to the city's mayor, while students, staff and parents gathered Thursday on the school’s football field to honor the victim.
Danyna Gibson died Wednesday at St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital in Madison Heights after her classmate allegedly stabbed her twice in the chest inside their second-period economics class. Police said there was animosity between the two girls — both straight-A honor roll students — because of a boy they liked.
The alleged assailant was arrested and is in police custody awaiting charges. Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said he plans to meet with Warren investigators Friday to discuss the case. The Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office said Thursday that an autopsy showed Gibson died of multiple stab wounds and ruled her death a homicide.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts posted on Facebook Wednesday night that he'd heard the suspect had announced her intentions toward the other girl on social media.
"We had a very heart-wrenching tragedy in Warren today involving a dispute over a boy that led to an unthinkable death by stabbing in a morning classroom," Fouts wrote. "Both girls were honor society students and good friends.
"The older girl let her anger get in the way of good judgement. I spoke with a friend of the family and she stated the older girl had apparently posted on social media what she planned on doing to her good friend," Fouts wrote. "Someone on social media may have seen this and could have prevented this had they told someone.
"I hope an effort will be made at Fitzgerald HS and other schools to encourage young people to say something if they have knowledge of a potential dangerous conflict. My heart also goes out to the parents of the young lady who lost her life, as well to the parents of the other girl who now must face a charge of murder! "
Fouts did not immediately return a phone call Thursday seeking comment.
Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said his investigators planned to seek murder charges.
"It's up to the prosecutor whether it'll be first- or second-degree murder," he said. "We don't make that determination."
Smith said Thursday afternoon he has not yet received a warrant request from Warren police.
"Warren PD is going through an extensive investigation, and we are meeting with them first thing Friday morning to go over the case and determine what charges will be brought," Smith said.
University of Detroit-Mercy law professor Larry Dubin said he didn't want to discuss any specific case, but added if someone broadcasts their intention to kill someone and carries it out, that would likely result in first-degree murder charges.
"Generally, the distinction between first- and second-degree murder is premeditation," Dubin said. "A statement that announces a person's intention to murder someone in the future, who then carries out an act to fulfill that intention, would certainly be relevant to providing a first-degree murder claim."
At Fitzgerald High, at least 500 students, staff and parents gathered under gray skies to honor Gibson.
Many were tearful as they gathered around the Spartan logo in the middle of the football field, where large pink “16” balloons were anchored by bouquets of flowers.
Gibson was involved in the National Honor Society, the school's cross country team, student council, robotics club, color guard and marching band.
The marching band took the field at 1 p.m. in silence, with large purple, yellow and blue, balloon bouquets following behind, which were released after a prayer in Gibson’s memory.
Laurie Fournier, superintendent of Fitzgerald Public Schools, joined students on the field, saying, “We at Fitzgerald, are a family.”
“I am terribly sad that we are grieving for a student, peer and classmate ... right now, our focus is supporting all the students in this community,” Fournier said. “Today is about honoring a young lady ... I extend my sincerest empathy to the family and the Fitzgerald community.”
A GoFundMe was started Thursday to financially help Gibson's family with her funeral services.
Media was denied access to the property for the vigil and the school prohibited any staff or student interviews.