A story for every victim

Steven Cruz, 14

Steven Cruz, a 14-year-old Latino, was fatally stabbed Friday, Jan. 23 in the 4700 block of East 4th Street in East Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

About 3:10 p.m., Cruz was sitting in an open corridor at David Wark Griffith Junior High School when a person, later described as a 13-year-old boy, walked up and stabbed him with an unknown object, said Lt. Holly Francisco with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The assailant was last seen on foot, heading south along South Fetterly Avenue, Francisco said.

“The investigators are just doing interviews now, but we don’t have any indication that there was a fight prior to the stabbing,” Francisco said. “It appears to be an isolated incident.”

Cruz was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:48 p.m., said Ed Winter, assistant chief of investigations for the coroner’s office.

Shortly after 7 p.m., Monterey Park resident Edith Torres was still waiting outside the school to pick up her daughter.

Torres said that her nephew, who is in eighth grade at the school, told her that he had heard someone shout, "Somebody got stabbed!" about 3 p.m. The boy saw the victim, severely injured, trying to climb up the stairs.

Torres, who had been waiting outside the school for several hours, said her daughter had just called from inside the school to tell her not to worry. But the wait was nerve-wracking, she said.

A 13-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder the next day. Officials have not yet released his name.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

-- Los Angeles Times staff

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