BELTON, Texas — Family friends, and later Belton officials, confirmed with 6 News that the student who was reportedly stabbed at Belton High School Tuesday morning has died.
"It is with a heavy heart that I update everyone...," one friend wrote on Facebook. "Unfortunately, the wounds were too severe and they were not able to save his life."
The student, Joe Ramirez, was reportedly stabbed by another student, 18-year-old Caysen Allison, after a fight took place a little before 9:47 a.m. in the bathroom, according to the Belton Police Department.
Police said after the stabbing, Allison left the school, but police were able to find him and take him into custody around 10:09 a.m.
At the time, the school was placed on lockdown as a precaution.
Ramirez was taken to a local hospital and was fighting for his life, a close family friend told 6 News earlier in the day. The close family friend requested they not be identified.
"Our thoughts and prayers to [inaudible] and family at this time," Dr. Matt Smith, Belton ISD's superintendent, said in a video that was released shortly after the incident.
The lockdown has since been lifted and Belton High School sent its students home for the rest of the day.
Police and school staff set up a reunification center at Tiger Stadium where parents were able to pick up their children.
"I want to ensure to the community and the parents that we're in partnership with Belton ISD to make sure students are safe, that we get them reunited with parents quickly and that we do a thorough investigation to make sure the person responsible for this is brought to justice," said Belton Police Chief Gene Ellis during a video update posted to Facebook.
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Pamela Owen rushed to pick up her two kids from school after she got a text that she never expected.
"I got a text from my son saying they're barricaded in a room but he's safe, so what does a mom do, we panic," she said. "I'm in shock, because I have an older son that graduated from here in 2018 and it's always been a great school."
As hundreds of parents and guardians waited in line to get their loved ones, emotions were high as unanswered questions loom in the moment.
"They're all right," Owen said. "They're a little in shock. I mean, we didn't expect something like this to happen, I mean, who does?"
"I'm worried that this shouldn't have happened to our school," said Donna Kempf, who was picking up her grandson at Tiger Field. "But, I'm glad that they did let the parents know what was going on."
Kempf praised Belton ISD for the reunification process as district staff were checking IDs to make sure students were leaving campus with the proper people. The process Belton ISD did was also a way for them to make sure all students were accounted for.
"One of the better school districts in the area and to see something like this unfold here, it's just crushing to say the least," said Frank Robbins who was picking up his three kids from school.
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Robbins said he stayed in constant communication with his kids and one of them was worried about the situation as they were on lockdown.
"I've been trying to do my best to try and make sure that that he stays calm, taking breaths and just doing everything to make sure that he's not losing his composure," Robbins said.
Isaiah Howard picked up his little sister from Tiger Field Tuesday afternoon. He tells 6 News he was shocked to hear the situation that unfolded at Belton High but was happy to hear his sister was safe.
Hours after the incident, Belton High School released a statement, saying "today's events are something none of us ever want to experience."
School officials said they believe it was an isolated incident.
Belton High School will remain closed on Wednesday, according to Belton ISD spokesperson Karen Rudolph.
Belton Mayor Wayne Carpenter sent the following statement about the reported stabbing:
"I am deeply saddened by the tragic incident at Belton High School today and send my prayers to all of those who have been impacted by it, particularly to the young victim and his family. On behalf of all Beltonians, I want all students, faculty, and staff at Belton High School and Belton ISD to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers...Please be in prayer for all involved."
Stay with 6 News as this story develops.
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