Student hospitalized after stabbing at Ridge View High School, suspect charged as adult

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Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 11:16 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Richland School District Two student is recovering at a local hospital after being stabbed on campus Tuesday.

Richland County deputies say the stabbing happened around 10 a.m. at Ridge View High School, located along Hardscrabble Road in northeast Columbia.

17-year-old Tony Abrams faces an attempted murder charge in connection with the incident.

He was charged as an adult and is booked at the juvenile wing of the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

Deputies took him into custody around 12:30 p.m. after searching the surrounding area.

“It’s scary,” Latisha Smalls, who has two nieces and a son at Ridge View High, said. “These things keep happening nationwide, and I’m not sure of the solution, but we should have more conversations regarding these type of incidents.”

RCSD says the situation started when a fight broke out among teenagers inside the school.

A 16-year-old male victim was stabbed multiple times with a knife in the upper body, and then taken to a hospital for treatment, according to RCSD.

An update on his condition was not immediately available.

A second victim, also a 16-year-old Ridge View High student, suffered a minor injury but did not go to the hospital.

Following the incident, Abrams ran from the school.

Both Ridge View High and nearby Rice Creek Elementary School then went on secure status around 11 A.M., which means that doors were locked and no one was allowed on or off campus.

At that point, RCSD began an exhaustive search to find the suspect.

The Sheriff’s Department deployed a chopper to canvass the area and had several deputies circling the school in patrol cars.

Smalls called the entire situation “unnerving.” She drove to the school when she heard the news, and said she had a million thoughts racing through her mind.

“I’ve talked to all three of my children at this point and I know they’re safe, but it could have been my child,” she said. “That’s the first thing you think when you hear a stabbing. My son texted me, but my nieces hadn’t responded right away so I’m thinking, ‘Did something happen with them? Is something going on with them?’ And that’s a scary feeling for any parent to have.”

Ridge View High parent Yolanda Burgess was also concerned for her son’s safety and the safety of all students.

“It’s too close to home, you know what I mean,” she said. “My son normally walks back and forth in the morning, and for the most part if I’m available I come and pick him up at noon.”

Smalls said she is praying for everyone involved in the incident, and hopes that those injured make a full recovery.

“I’m just hoping everyone really takes this situation seriously, it doesn’t become a story today and forgotten about tomorrow,” she said.

Lazayda Rowells, a Ridge View High senior, said it was a “chaotic” and “stressful” morning.

WIS asked her what she thinks needs to change to stop these incidents from happening.

“We have metal detectors come like every few months, but stuff like that isn’t really helping,” she said. “It’s just very random, every couple months so I don’t even know what could change it, but it seems that nothing’s really getting done the way it’s supposed to be in my mind.”

Rowells said that efforts to keep students safe feel hopeless because there are a select few intents of causing harm.

The Richland Two Safety and Security Committee has discussed the possibility of permanent metal detectors but has not made any recommendations to the full board.

RCSD says the investigation into this incident is active and ongoing.

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