Crime & Justice

Teacher stabbed to death in front of students in Long Beach

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An elementary school teacher was fatally stabbed while watching students play at a park during an outing that her school called "Fun Friday."

Long Beach police said Kellye Taylor, 53, was at a playground near the Huntington Academy when a man later identified as the father of her grandchildren attacked around 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Soon after, officers arrested Steven Brown, 50, of Long Beach.

Investigators recovered the "sharp instrument" they believe Brown used, Sgt. Aaron Eaton said. Brown was taken to Long Beach's jail, where he was held on $1 million bail.

Witnesses told the Long Beach Press-Telegram that Taylor was stabbed in the neck while two dozen children played nearby.

"How could they do something like this in front of these babies," Pamela Huffman, Taylor's younger sister who also works at the school, told the newspaper. "All I could do was run to her. I saw her slip away. I knew she wasn't going to make it."

Taylor had custody of her grandchildren, which upset Brown, Huffman said. Police said Saturday they have not developed a possible motive.

When school resumes Monday, students and staff will have access to counselors.

"These babies are not going to want to go back to that park," Huffman said. "That was our park. Our park. Now what are we going to do?"

The Long Beach Register reported that the park, located near the school, had recent problems with drugs and crime.

"When a school teacher can't even be safe in a park, it's just ridiculous," resident Doug Hunt told the newspaper.