Juan Carlos Rivera, age 17, was stabbed to death in a South Florida high school hallway last September. At the time, not many details were released. Andy Rodriguez, age 17, has been arrested for the fatal stabbing, and police and prosecutors are now reporting more details of the crime.
According to prosecutors, Rodriguez took a knife to school because Rivera had given him a dirty look. Rodriguez told investigators that he and Rivera later bumped elbows in the hallway, prompting him to stab the other teen with a box cutter. In a video statement released by prosecutors, Rodriguez admitted that he stabbed Rivera in the side with the knife. The statement also included school surveillance tapes, witness transcripts, police reports, and the autopsy report on Rivera. According to the autopsy, Rivera was stabbed five times, including a fatal stab to his heart.
The surveillance tapes show Rodriguez running away from the scene in a bloody shirt. Rodriguez’s attorney has stated that his client was threatened by Rivera and believes that his client has a solid self-defense claim. Rodriguez himself has no criminal history, but police records indicate that they have responded to domestic violence calls to his home on numerous occasions, at least one including a report of a knife fight including several family members. Rodriguez has been charged with second-degree murder, and has pleaded not guilty.
It is very sad that a young person’s life was cut short due to senseless violence. Teens settling matters with fists, knives, and / or guns has become all too common in our schools. When children have a problem at school or with others, it is vital that they feel comfortable to seek advice from parents, elders, and mentors. Revenge for a dirty look is not worth the loss of a teen’s life, or the consequences to be paid by the guilty party. Read more about this tragic teen stabbing at Police release statements in school stabbing case.