New Rochelle Student Death

Alison Chan

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At 12:20 PM on Wednesday, January 11, Valaree Megan Schwab, a sixteen year old New Rochelle High School student, was stabbed to death by a classmate from Yonkers. The alleged suspect, Z’Inah Brown, surrendered to the New Rochelle Police Department Headquarters on Thursday afternoon. Schwab, Brown, Schwab’s boyfriend, and five or six other teens had several altercations at different fast food restaurants, which finally ended at a local Dunkin Donuts on 646 North Avenue, which is about a half a mile away from the high school. The incident has students at SHS talking as well, “We talked about the stabbing in my health class Thursday morning, and it was brought up that students are not allowed to leave school grounds during school hours, which was when the stabbing occurred, so that puts the high school administration under some blame,” shared SHS student Sophia Luttrell ‘20.

Some members group allegedly bullied Schwab, who defended herself with pepper spray. (This was not her first time using pepper spray as a defense.) Brown then stabbed Schwab two times in her left torso area with a steak knife, according to the New Rochelle Police Department. “There appeared to be some sort of ongoing disagreement between the victim and at least one of the members of the group,” added New Rochelle Police Commissioner Joseph Schaller. Janelle Burrell, the manager of the Dunkin Donuts in which the stabbing occurred, called 911 as soon as she heard the screams and realized what had happened. When police arrived, Schwab was responsive but gradually losing consciousness, and severely bleeding. She was taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx and was declared dead. Brown was charged with second-degree murder.

The New Rochelle High School addressed this issue by issuing a heartfelt statement: “This is a devastating loss for our school community, and our deepest condolences go out to Valaree’s family and friends,” shared New Rochelle High School Superintendent Dr. Brian G. Osborne Reggie Richardson. Many students were absent from school on Thursday There were then alleged threats from Schwab’s boyfriend on social media about a school shooting, but the threat was not found to be credible. Nonetheless, the school provided extra security just in case, along with many accessible grief counselors, social workers, and other professionals in school on Thursday for the students and staff who were emotionally affected by this tragedy.

The incident left not only New Rochelle and Westchester county, but the whole state in shock. “I heard it through friends in homeroom. I was extremely shocked to hear about this information, since these people are people my age. This incident is such a scary and tragic story and will never be forgotten,” reflected Luttrell.


By: Alison Chan