Another Act of Violence Hits Close to Home on April 7


Zoe Toperosky (she/her), Editor

As violence in our community and across the country continues to rise, we see another incident that occurred very close to home. 

On Friday, April 7, a 13-year-old Robert Gray student was robbed and stabbed in front of Rieke Elementary School. The suspects are 15 and 17-year-old boys who were taken into custody shortly after the attack. 

The Portland Police Bureau report states that the Central Precinct officers responded to the report of the stabbing at 5:10 pm. According to witnesses, two teenage boys reportedly robbed the middle schooler and stabbed him, pointing a realistic-looking airsoft gun at the victim and a group of surrounding people before running off. 

The victim was treated immediately for non-life-threatening, but serious injuries as the officers searched the surrounding area for the suspects. They were later found on Bertha Boulevard due to a call-in tip from a witness. 

Both suspects were briefly questioned and then taken into custody. While their  names will not be released because they are minors, their charges have been. The 15-year-old is being charged with Robbery in the First Degree and Assault in the Second Degree, and the 17-year-old is being charged with Robbery in the First Degree and Robbery in the Second Degree. Both are being booked into the Multnomah County Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center. 

As students returned to school on April 11, Ida B. Wells High School administration made it clear that there were resources and support for students. The counselors: Sheila Kendall, Julie Fleming, Danny Bradach, and Lauryn Files as well as IBW’s social worker, Britni Locke, and school psychologist, Emilee Refvem, are all available for support in the days since the incident. 

Filip Hristic, the IBW principal, sent out a message to all students and families on Saturday, April 8. He briefly explained the situation and illustrated the support systems that were available to students emphasizing the importance of students well being and safety. 

“At Ida B. Wells we take every effort to keep our students safe,” the statement read. “We do not tolerate acts of violence and we know the emotional well-being of our students is vital.” 

Upon coming to their first-period class on Tuesday, April 11, students were read a statement from their teachers that gave an update on the situation and empathized with the victim and student trauma. The statement also reminded students that this was part of an open investigation and that spreading rumors about the people involved could jeopardize the work the police are doing. 

Support remains for students at school as the threat of violence continues to persist in our community. The student injured during this attack has been released from the hospital, but the investigation remains open. 

The police ask that if you witnessed any part of the incident or captured any videos that have not already been turned in to the police you should contact them via email, [email protected], and reference case number 23-89891.