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Grief counselors at South East High School help students, staff


SOUTH GATE, Calif.–The Los Angeles Unified School District plans to make crisis counselors available today to students and staffers at South East High School in South Gate, where a 17th-year-old student was stabbed to death on Friday, allegedly by her 18-year-old ex-boyfriend.

The counselors will be on campus from about 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. today.

Abraham Lopez, 18, is expected to be arraigned today on a charge of murder. He’s been held without bail at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown L.A. Lopez allegedly stabbed Cindi Santana, 17, during a lunchtime fight in a courtyard before being subdued. A varsity football player, 11th-grader Jorge Garcia, and a female dean also were stabbed or cut while trying to stop the attack, school police said.

“During the argument (Lopez) began suddenly striking (Santana) with his fists and then pushed her to the ground,” Deputy Benjamin Grubb of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a statement. “The suspect then stabbed the victim several times before being subdued.”

Lopez, who was first taken to a hospital to be checked out, was booked on suspicion of murder, Los Angeles Unified School District Police Chief Steven K. Zipperman said.

Witnesses described Lopez grabbing Santana and putting her in a headlock as several people tried to intervene in a courtyard away from classrooms.

It took about 15 stitches to close a cut on Garcia’s arm, according to published reports.
Cindi died during surgery at St. Francis Medical Center.