A stabbing Tuesday at Miami Killian Senior High drew worried parents to the school, caused a brief lockdown of the Kendall campus and sent a standout football player to the hospital.
Sophomore defensive end DeAndre Johnson, 15, is expected to make a full recovery. Miami-Dade Public Schools police said Johnson was stabbed by a female student just before lunchtime outside the school cafeteria. He made his way to a set of bleachers, surrounded by friends and classmates, before an ambulance took him to the hospital.
By early afternoon, Johnson’s friends took to Twitter to express their outrage.
Later in the day, police charged a 17-year old senior with felony attempted murder and possession of a weapon on school grounds, according to a district spokeswoman.
According to witness accounts and police statements, Johnson was stabbed around 11 a.m., setting off a brief moment of panic. The girl was taken into custody almost immediately.
Despite the girl being in custody, the school was briefly placed on lockdown. Still, worried parents who received texts from their children rushed to the school at 10655 SW 97th Ave. Up to 100 parents packed the library waiting for their children to be released, said a parent who was there.
Though the district sent out automated messages, parents at the school complained about a lack of information. The school “didn’t give us any information on what happened,” said Blanca Rodriguez, whose daughter and son attend Killian.
Lt. Raul Correa, spokesman for Miami-Dade schools police, said the female student used some sort of a kitchen knife to stab Johnson. He called Tuesday’s incident isolated and said students had nothing to fear.
Travis Bloomfield, who plays on the Killian Cougar football team with Johnson, said he saw a girl waving a knife, a security guard trying to gain control of the girl and Johnson walking around holding his chest before he got to the bleachers.
“Everyone was yelling, screaming and crying, saying ‘No DeAndre, don’t die,’” Bloomfield said.
At one point, Bloomfield said, Johnson fell to the ground. Then football coach Cory Johnson made his way over and calmed the crowd before the ambulance arrived.
Jorge Olivieri, a 17-year old junior, said he saw security guards and an officer pull the girl away while students rushed to help Johnson. Someone placed a sweater over him, and he appeared to be bleeding from the upper chest area, Olivieri said.
“I saw him lying on the floor, bleeding. They were trying to keep him conscious, keep him awake,” Oliveri said. “It was shocking to see.”
At six-foot-three and 220 pounds, Johnson is considered a rising star at his position, ranked in the top tier of defensive ends statewide by some high school prep magazines. Prep school football guru Larry Blustein even made mention of Johnson this past season, referring to him as a “surprising” prospect.
Johnson had 30 tackles and seven quarterback sacks in 2014, and reports say he has been offered a scholarship at Temple University, although he prefers Florida State or Miami.
He missed most of last season with a fractured fibula but returned in time for the playoffs and played a major role, his coach said. He recently returned from the U.S. Army All-American combine in Texas and has maintained a 3.3 grade point average.
Coach Johnson visited Johnson in the hospital Tuesday.
“We coach with faith. We play with faith. We build fighters,” Johnson said. “He’s pulling through. He’s just going to need time to recover.”
Friends of Johnson filled the Twittersphere Tuesday using the hashtag #PrayForDre.
Miami Herald staff writer Manny Navarro contributed to this report.