Masked teen intruder threatens Santa Rosa student with knife amid uptick in violence

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Tuesday, February 6, 2024
Another knife incident at Santa Rosa high school amid violence uptick
Safety and violence issues continue at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, where police say an intoxicated 16-year-old boy wearing a ski mask was trespassing and threatened a student with a knife.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Authorities say that around 8 a.m. Monday, an intoxicated 16-year-old male suspect wearing a ski mask was trespassing on the Montgomery High School campus in Santa Rosa.

Police say that a 16-year-old was checking door handles at the school and approached several students.

After being escorted off of school grounds by staff, police found the suspect at a nearby grocery store where they detained him.

At some point this morning - officials say the suspect also flashed a knife at one student and threatened to stab him.

VIDEO: Heartbroken family mourns loss of 16-year-old stabbed to death at a Santa Rosa high school

Family members are mourning the loss of 16-year-old Jayden Pienta, who was stabbed to death at Santa Rosa's Montgomery High School by another student.

Safety at Montgomery High School, as well as other schools in the Santa Rosa district, has been a major topic of discussion recently.

The school has seen a substantial uptick in violence and gang-related activities.

So much so that back in December, Santa Rosa police were stationed temporarily on campus for the two weeks leading up to the winter break.

Amid the uptick in violence at Santa Rosa City Schools, district leaders say student safety is their top priority.

"It is essential to acknowledge that schools alone cannot bare the entire responsibility of tackling the root causes of youth violence and gang affiliation," said Superintendent of Santa Rosa City Schools, Anna Trunnel. "The entire community must come together to support out students and address the underlying issues."

VIDEO: Should officers return to Santa Rosa school campuses? Here's what the community thinks

After several incidents of violence - including a middle school fight involving a kitchen knife and a deadly high school stabbing - Santa Rosa teachers, parents, and students are demanding safer schools.

Up until 2020, the district had school resource officers who were responsible for keeping campuses safe.

Now, there's discussion over whether they should be brought back full-time.

Some experts who deal with youth violence believe a multi-faceted approach is the best way to keep students safe.

"Community-based organizations that are in the neighborhood or even close by that work with these individuals that the school can tap in with," said Cheeko Wells. "Because sometimes these kids won't talk to the school folks but they'll talk to the CBOs."

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