A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a 15-year-old who was fatally stabbed outside his school gates.
murder inquiry was launched after the teenager died in hospital following an attack close to the entrance of North Huddersfield Trust School (NHTS) in Woodhouse Hill at 2.45pm on Wednesday, West Yorkshire Police said.
The force has now confirmed a 16-year-old was arrested at an address in Huddersfield shortly before 5am on Thursday in connection with the incident.
A spokesperson added: “He remains in custody and inquiries are ongoing, led by detectives from West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Inquiry Team.”
The mother of the victim’s girlfriend said her daughter had described him as “the perfect boy”.
Sherrin James, who left flowers at the scene on Thursday, said her daughter Shyana, 16, had been going out with the boy, named locally as Khayri, for around eight months.
The 35-year-old said the pair were “literally inseparable”, adding: “He was her first proper boyfriend. She absolutely adored him and he absolutely adored her. She said he was perfect.”
Ms James said Khayri had messaged Shyana shortly before the incident, saying he “had had a good day at school and couldn’t wait to see her”.
She added: “Her friend phoned her within minutes saying he had been hurt and was bleeding.
“I drove straight round, parked at the top and ran down. His mum was here and some of the teachers.
“I got on the floor with them and held his hand. I was telling him to wait for Shyana.
“I was just trying to make him pull through because he was squeezing my hand.”
Ms James said her daughter is “heartbroken”, adding: “I can’t even describe it. She’s just in bits.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to give the teenager “the best send-off”.
NHTS pupils Alfie Wilkinson and Ruben Duncan-Keane left flowers at the scene with their mothers.
Ruben, 12, said they had been “traumatised” by what had happened.
Alfie, 12, described the boy who had died as “a very popular kid”.
He said: “I’ve seen him about and he just looked like a nice kid and I didn’t know why anybody would want to do that to anyone.”
Describing the incident, Alfie said: “I saw him lying on the floor and then one of my teachers started giving him chest compressions to keep him alive and covering the wound.
“He thought it was a normal school day, going to school and then he came out and got stabbed. He didn’t even get to go home and tell his mum how his day was, and that shouldn’t happen to anyone.”
Headteacher Andrew Fell said in a statement that NHTS had “lost a wonderful student from our school community”.
The victim was treated at the scene and then taken to Leeds General Infirmary for emergency surgery, police said, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Mr Fell said in a statement: “It is with enormous sadness that I must tell you that following an incident on Woodhouse Hill Road yesterday, one of our pupils has tragically lost their life.
“The pupil was taken by ambulance to hospital after the incident but despite the most valiant of efforts, medical staff were unable to save their life.
“This is truly shocking news for our pupils, your children and our staff. We will be providing specialist support for any among our community who feel they could benefit.”
Afiya Mahmood, 39, who lives opposite the school, told the PA news agency: “I work from home and my husband messaged me to say someone had been stabbed outside the school. It must have been about half-an-hour after the incident had happened.
“I hadn’t heard anything but I ran up to see what happened.
“I could see the boy from the window, and the paramedics working on the child. There was blood but they’ve washed it away now.
“There were a lot of paramedics, about 15 or 20, or that’s what it felt like anyway. Then they took him away.
“It’s very overwhelming, distressing. It’s shocking, it’s just a young boy isn’t it.”
Billy Shankland attended the scene with his son, a Year 7 pupil at the school, to lay flowers.
He said: “It’s awful, I’ve got a child within the same age group, I can’t imagine what the family’s going through.
“He didn’t know the boy, but he’s got friends who did. It’s a shock.
“It is very (concerning) because we don’t know if it’s targeted or random – for us, anything could be happening. It’s scary.”
Lucy Smith, who lives near the school, left a poem she had written on the railings outside the school.
She said: “I think we’re all in shock, I’ve got two teenagers roughly the same age and anyone with a family must be feeling shocked and saddened.
“It was really important for me to come here, when things like this happen, to do something that can just help us feel better when we are all feeling completely powerless in the face of violence and thinking about a family that must be falling apart today.”
Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Marc Bowes said police have identified a number of witnesses to the incident.
“Our investigation is still at a very early stage, and we will be carrying out extensive inquiries to establish the full circumstances surrounding this incident that has resulted in the absolutely senseless loss of a young life,” he said.
“We recognise that an incident of this nature will cause understandable shock and concern in the community, and we are working closely alongside our colleagues at Kirklees District who are increasing their presence in the area to reassure people and keep them updated as our investigation progresses.
“We have already identified a number of witnesses to the incident itself but would still like to hear from anyone who has any information that could assist the investigation.”