A fatal stabbing was reported at Fitzgerald High School Sept. 12. Students were released at 10 a.m. Sept. 12 and Superintendent Laurie Fournier said the school would remain closed for classes on Sept. 13.

A fatal stabbing was reported at Fitzgerald High School Sept. 12. Students were released at 10 a.m. Sept. 12 and Superintendent Laurie Fournier said the school would remain closed for classes on Sept. 13.

Photo by Brian Louwers


Teen dies, another in custody after Warren classroom stabbing

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published September 12, 2018

 Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer addressed the media about a fatal stabbing at Fitzgerald High School Sept. 12.

Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer addressed the media about a fatal stabbing at Fitzgerald High School Sept. 12.

Photo by Brian Louwers

"They knew each other. They had been friends. It’s a complete tragedy."

Bill Dwyer, Warren Police Commissioner

WARREN — A 16-year-old student from Warren died after she was reportedly stabbed in the chest with a kitchen knife wielded by a classmate at Fitzgerald High School Sept. 12. The suspect, 17, also from Warren, now faces the possibility of life in prison.

In addressing what he called a “true tragedy,” Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer confirmed that the victim, later identified by the Fitzgerald Public Schools district as Danyna Gibson, died at 9:34 a.m. that morning at the hospital, about an hour after she was stabbed in a classroom at the school, located at 23200 Ryan Road, just north of Nine Mile Road.

“A 17-year-old female suspect, a Warren resident, produced a kitchen-style knife and stabbed a 16-year-old female victim, also a Warren resident and student, twice in the chest,” Dwyer said during a press conference. “We have a school resource officer assigned to Fitzgerald, and he responded in seconds and immediately began CPR on the victim, continuing until the Fire Department arrived.”

A teacher was reportedly in the classroom when the stabbing occurred and moved to assist the school resource officer. Gibson was reportedly rushed by ambulance to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

As of press time, police had said little about what happened to the suspect immediately following the stabbing, only confirming that the investigation was ongoing.

Dwyer said the suspect was placed in custody at the scene without further incident and that a knife was recovered. While still in the early stages of the investigation, he said it appeared that there may have been some sort of an issue between the suspect and the victim about a male student. He said the male student was cooperating with police.

“All parties involved, both the suspect and the victim, are straight-A students at Fitzgerald High School, and neither had been involved in any trouble before,” Dwyer said. He later added, “They knew each other. They had been friends. It’s a true tragedy.”

He said that the victim’s family told police the teen ran cross country and was involved in the school’s color guard, marching band, student council and robotics club.  

Police confirmed that 25 students who witnessed the attack were interviewed by Warren detectives and that at least some were asked to provide statements as part of the investigation.

Dwyer said the department’s longest-serving officers could not recall a fatal attack occurring in the classroom of a Warren school.

Detectives planned to meet with Macomb County prosecutors early Sept. 14, and an arraignment was expected at around 2 p.m., after the Warren Weekly went to press. Dwyer said he anticipated that the department would request a warrant authorizing a murder charge against the suspect, who was not named pending her formal arraignment in the 37th District Court.

Investigators confirmed that the cellphones of the victim, the suspect and the male student were taken into evidence, and that warrants would be sought to legally access messages and data contained therein.

Fitzgerald Public Schools issued a series of statements Sept. 12 addressing the tragedy.

Superintendent Laurie Fournier posted a message on the district’s website and Facebook pages in which she addressed the stabbing and the district’s schedule for the coming days.

“We are deeply saddened to share that the Fitzgerald High School student who was stabbed this morning passed away at the hospital. Our hearts and prayers go out to the student’s family, and we offer our deepest sympathy,” Fournier said.

Students at the school were released at 10 a.m. Sept. 12, Fournier said, and Fitzgerald High School remained closed for classes on Sept. 13. Classes were expected to resume Sept. 14.

“At the high school, we have deployed additional counselors, psychologists and social workers for students and staff who need support during this difficult time,” Fournier said.

She added, “We are working very closely with the Police Department on this matter as well as conducting an internal school review of the incident, which will renew all our current safety procedures and protocols.”

Fournier added, “This is a time of mourning for the Fitzgerald community, and we ask for you to respect the privacy of the victim’s family.”

Look for updates to this developing story here as information becomes available. Follow this story on social media at www.facebook.com/warrenweekly.