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Grief Counselors Will Be On Hand At High School To Help Classmates Of Slain Teen

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The victim, identified as 17-year-old Cindi Santana, died at Saint Francis Medical Center hours after being stabbed during a lunchtime fight at South East High School in South Gate.

The victim, identified as 17-year-old Cindi Santana, died at Saint Francis Medical Center hours after being stabbed during a lunchtime fight at South East High School in South Gate.

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Crisis counselors will be available to students at South East High School where a boy fatally stabbed his ex-girlfriend on Friday.

The Los Angeles Unified School District plans to have counselors on from about 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. today for students and staffers who want to talk about the homicide.

Abraham Lopez, 18, allegedly stabbed Cindi Santana, 17, during a lunchtime fight in a courtyard before being subdued. A varsity football player, 11th-grader Jorge Garcia, and a female dean also were stabbed or cut while trying to stop the attack, school police said.

“During the argument (Lopez) began suddenly striking (Santana) with his fists and then pushed her to the ground,” Deputy Benjamin Grubb of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a statement today. “The suspect then stabbed the victim several times before being subdued.”

Lopez, who was first taken to a hospital to be checked out, was booked on suspicion of murder, Los Angeles Unified School District Police Chief Steven K. Zipperman said. He is expected to be arraigned today.

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.

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

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

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

“During the investigation, the suspect claimed he had placed explosive devices at multiple locations, including the parking structure at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood,” Grubb said. “Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Arson/Explosive Detail responded to the alleged locations and did not locate any suspicious devices.”

lopez1 Grief Counselors Will Be On Hand At High School To Help Classmates Of Slain Teen

Murder suspect Abraham Lopez in his booking photo. (credit: LA Sheriff's Dept.)

South East High School, about 7 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, has about 2,800 students.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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