Girl stabbed at South Gate high school dies

 LA Unified School district police outside South East High School in South Gate.
LA Unified School district police outside South East High School in South Gate. Brian Watt/KPCC

Authorities say a 17-year-old girl who was stabbed at South East High School in South Gate, has died at an L.A. hospital.

Cindi Santana died during surgery at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, at about 7:45 p.m on Friday. She reportedly suffered wounds to her back and side.

Santana was allegedly stabbed by her ex-boyfriend, 18-year-old Abraham Lopez, during a lunchtime fight at the school. An 11th-grade and varsity football player, Jorge Garcia, and a female dean were also stabbed or cut while trying to stop the attack, according to school police.

It took about 15 stitches to close a cut on Garcia's arm, according to  published reports.

A school district spokeswoman said the student and the dean who were  stabbed should be okay. A school police officer complained of a back injury.

Witnesses described Lopez grabbing Santana and putting her in a headlock, as several people tried to intervene in a courtyard away from classrooms. It was unclear what kind of knife Lopez used or how he got it on campus.

Lopez, who was first taken to a hospital to be checked out, was to be booked on suspicion of murder, Los Angeles Unified School District Police Chief  Steven K. Zipperman told KCAL9.

The stabbing also triggered a bomb scare at the hospital last night.

" ... investigators came across some information that the suspect (Lopez) may have placed an explosive device in one of the family member's vehicles (which had since been driven to the hospital) or possibly around the residence of one of the victim's family members," Zipperman said. "So we contacted the sheriff's bomb squad and they responded to the areas and cleared both locations."

The hospital parking structure at 3630 E. Imperial Highway was cleared about 10:30 p.m.

Zipperman said crisis counselors would be made available to Santana's family and, on Monday, to students and staffers at the school at 2700 Tweedy Boulevard on Monday.
 
Sheriff's detectives will be handling the investigation.
  
South East High School, about 7 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles,  is home to about 3,000 students. The stabbing death was the first on a LAUSD  campus in recent memory.

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