LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A candlelight vigil was held Saturday for the 53-year-old teacher who was fatally stabbed in front of her horrified students Friday afternoon.
Family and friends gathered at Orizaba Park where Kellye Taylor was stabbed to death.
Taylor, a mother of three, taught K through 6th-grade at the Huntington Academy School, a small, private elementary school.
She was declared dead at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach.
Taylor was with her students in the park for what the school calls “Fun Friday.” Several other teachers also witnessed the attack.
CBS2’s Louisa Hodge attended the vigil which saw community member, friends and family come together to mourn Taylor.
Police have a suspect in custody and described him as the father of the victim’s grandchildren.
The suspect was identified as Steven Brown, 50. The attack occurred — officials theorize — over a custody battle involving the victim’s grandchildren. Family told Hodge they really couldn’t think of a motive.
Regardless of the reason for the attack, the woman’s family is stunned and devastated.
“She told me that my sister was stabbed in the jugular vein and to and hurry up, she said ‘I didn’t know if she is going to make it.’ I just took off. I have a handicap but I just needed to move really fast, really fast. When I got there, she was in a puddle of blood and I knew she wouldn’t make it,” said Mary Bryant.
Family members told Hodge that they didn’t think Brown, the alleged stabber, was capable of anything like murder.
“It’s hurtful and we have got to heal, our school, our family and our community,” said another mourner.