CASTROVILLE, Calif. - UPDATE: 3/6/2018 6:01 p.m. North Monterey County Unified School District Superintendent Kari Yeater says there were counselors and psychiatrists on the Castroville campus to meet with students. They had an increased adult presence on Tuesday so the students will feel safer at school. The district is working to schedule a community meeting to more thoroughly discuss Monday's incident.
UPDATE: 3/5/2018 4:29 p.m. A 12-year-old student stabbed a classmate at a Castroville middle school Monday morning.
The stabbing was reported around 8:30 a.m., about 15 minutes before class started at North Monterey County Middle School. The school was put into lockdown so a helicopter could land and take the victim to a Bay Area Trauma Center. After that, classes resumed but parents were still on edge.
Cell phone video circulated on social media reportedly showing what happened on the school’s campus.
North Monterey County Middle School students, Sebastian and Adrian Jimenez said, "People coming up to me and telling me that somebody just got stabbed. And the area, there were still people in the area they were also informing me the kid was trying to hold his blood in where he got stabbed.”
The Monterey County Sheriff's Office said the 12-year-old victim was taken by helicopter to a Bay Area hospital for his injuries where he remains in stable condition.
The suspect was armed with a 5 to 6 inch long kitchen knife when a staff member stepped in, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
"From what I understand, after the assault took place, he was non-compliant, there were some students possibly threatened, but if it wasn't for the fast action of the administration, from what I understand, an administrator, unknown who tackled the suspect from behind and subdued him, disarmed him,” said Commander Joseph Banuelos.
The school was put on lockdown while first responders got the victim medical help.
The lockdown was later lifted, but hundreds of parents wanted to make sure their kids were ok. Some parents grew impatient at it took a long time to reunite with their kids.
The school district said they had to follow protocol, to make sure all of the kids were accounted for.
"You have to go to the office, you have to find the student and what class they are in, you have to contact the classroom teacher or have them escorted with one of our campus supervisors up to the office and then that parent or guardian, whoever is authorized then has to actually physically sign the child out,” said Superintendent Kari Yeater.
America Jimenez was one of the parents who anxiously waited to pick up her two sons. After several hours, she was finally able to get them.
She wants parents and the school district to come together and have better lines of communication.
"It’s not that I’m mad, I want them to understand and learn from this situation and come back tomorrow like it's a normal day. I even asked them what's going to happen tomorrow. Do I bring my kids, are they going to be counseled? They're telling me leave them here, they'll be counseled. How can I leave them now? I need to speak to them about what happened. I need to orient them so this doesn't happen to them or they don't get mad and do it to someone,” said Jimenez.
The school district has mental health counselors and a psychologist for students who will be checking on them and staff this week.
As for the suspect, he could face charges like assault with a weapon but that could change depending on what happens with the victim.
North Monterey County Middle School in Castroville was on lockdown following a reported stabbing Monday morning.
North Monterey County Unified School District posted this to the schools website:
The Monterey County Sheriff's Office said a 12-year-old suspect attacked another 12-year-old student with a 5 to 6 inch kitchen knife. The victim suffered life threatening injuries and was flown to a Bay Area Trauma Center.
The suspect was arrested on campus. Investigators do not believe anymore students are in danger.
The school's lockdown was lifted around 9:30 a.m. Dozens of parents waited hours trying to take their kids home from school. The school's superintendent said they brought in 12 additional staff members to help release students to the right person.
KION's Mariana Hicks has the details at 5 and 6 p.m.