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Girl, 17, charged with first-degree murder in Warren school stabbing

Detroit Free Press logo Detroit Free Press 9/14/2018 Christina Hall and Aleanna Siacon
Fitzgerald Stabbing 1: Victoria Oraczko, center, 16, of Warren is comforted by her friends after she was interviewed and released after the stabbing that occurred in her classroom at Fitzgerald High School in Warren, Mich. on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. © Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press Victoria Oraczko, center, 16, of Warren is comforted by her friends after she was interviewed and released after the stabbing that occurred in her classroom at Fitzgerald High School in Warren, Mich. on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018.

A 17-year-old Fitzgerald High School student is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death Wednesday of her 16-year-old classmate at the school in Warren. 

Tanaya Lewis was arraigned Friday afternoon and is to remain jailed after District Judge Suzanne L. Faunce ordered her held without bond. During the attack, she was supposedly smiling and laughing, Warren police Det. Donald Seidl said at the arraignment.

Lewis is accused of stabbing her onetime friend Danyna Gibson, of Warren, twice in the chest and twice in the back with a steak knife in a classroom, according to Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith. Gibson died later that day. 

Smith said evidence of premeditation, necessary for the murder charge, "is abundant in this case.

"As simple as the fact that she brought knife to school -- that in and of itself is premeditation," Smith said, adding that there also had been a previous dispute. 

Smith said the stabbing happened so quickly, it may still have not been stopped even if a school police officer was in the room. He said Lewis chased the victim around the classroom, and it happened as kids in the classroom were breaking up to different group sessions. A teacher threw Lewis out of the classroom, Smith said. 

He said this is the first homicide inside a Macomb County school. 

Classes were to resume Friday after they were dismissed following the stabbing. Police had patrols around the school and expected to have extra officers stationed at 37th District Court in Warren for the arraignment, said police Commissioner William Dwyer.  

Dwyer said the second-floor classroom where the stabbing occurred was still a crime scene and sealed off until at least the end of Friday.

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Danyna was remembered during a vigil Thursday as a straight-A student who was in the marching band, color guard and numerous other school activities.

Lewis, who Dwyer has also said was a straight-A student, is being monitored in the police lockup. Police, he said, are sensitive to her age. He said she requested to speak to her attorney Thursday night, police accommodated the request and her attorney came in, Dwyer said.

Dwyer said Lewis was upset with the Gibson because she thought Gibson was telling Lewis's 17-year-old boyfriend that Lewis was cheating on him.

Dwyer said there were texts between the Lewis and her boyfriend, but he has declined to comment further on them. He said police received information Wednesday that the suspect and boyfriend drove to school together Wednesday morning to resolve their differences.

He said a teacher and 20 to 30 other students were in the classroom when the stabbing occurred at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. He said Danyna died less than an hour after she was stabbed twice in the chest with a steak knife that Dwyer said came from the suspect's home.

An autopsy by the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Danyna died of multiple stab wounds; her death was ruled a homicide.

Hutchison Funeral Home in Detroit is handling the funeral arrangements.

Gofundme.com campaigns have been set up to raise money for the funeral.

Sterling Heights High School Principal Craig Miller said there are plans to have a moment of silence for Danyna at the Sterling Heights versus Fitzgerald football game Friday night.

Contact Christina Hall: chall@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.

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