High school mourns student killed in stabbing

October 19, 2009 7:01:34 PM PDT
Santa Cruz police are looking for a man who stabbed a high school student to death over the weekend. Investigators say it was gang violence against a truly innocent victim.

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A few simple words on a sign at Santa Cruz High School acknowledge the sudden death of one of its own.

Sixteen-year-old Tyler Tenorio was born in Santa Cruz and was a well liked junior at the high school.

"Even if you didn't know Tyler, it's a hit to the student body because he got taken away," said Santa Cruz High School senior Tyler Hughes.

Police say Tyler was stabbed to death Friday night when he came out of a 7-11and went to help his friends who were in an argument with some gang members.

Witnesses describe three to five young men and one person with a knife.

"They were yelling gang slogans before the attack, during the attack, so we are confident it was gang motivated even though the victims were not associated with a gang," said Santa Cruz Police Department Spokesman Zack Friend.

Tyler's family shared two pictures with ABC7 and did not want to go on camera but did tell us they are devastated by the tragedy and appreciate the outpouring of support.

"Knowing how he is loved I've never seen so many people come by in my life," said Tenorio's grandmother.

Police say the person who stabbed Tyler cut himself during the attack. They followed a trail of blood down Chestnut to an apartment complex, but none of the advertised security cameras were working.

As police investigate, Tyler's family and classmates are grieving.

"Some teachers suspended their lesson for the day or a portion of it to engage kids in conversation about death in general and this incident," said Santa Cruz High School Principal Karen Edmonds.

A community meeting will be held at Santa Cruz High School on Wednesday night. Many students are also writing personal notes to Tyler's family.

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