[symple_googlemap title=”” location=”2800 block of Santa Fe Avenue, Long Beach, CA” height=”300″ zoom=”13″]

An 18-year-old man was taken in custody on suspicion of fatally stabbing a 15-year-old boy, whose classmates Friday were trying to cope with his loss with the help of grief counselors and teachers.

Keshawn Brooks was attacked around 3:25 p.m. Thursday in the 2800 block of Santa Fe Avenue as he walked home from Cabrillo High School, according to Long Beach police.

Giovanny Montelongo, who allegedly stabbed the teen as he tried to snatch his backpack, was arrested within hours at a residence in the 1700 block of West Columbia Street. Police said they were investigating whether the suspect had gang ties.

Keeyon Layton, Brooks’ father, said his son was an innocent victim.

“My son was not a gang member,” Layton said Thursday night. “This was murder … and he didn’t deserve this.”

Long Beach City Councilman Roberto Uranga offered his condolences to the victim’s family and friends and vowed to work with police and the Long Beach Unified School District to ensure the safety of students and community members affected by a scourge of racially motivated and gang-fueled violence.

“The ongoing racial and gang tensions in West Long Beach are unacceptable in a city as diverse as Long Beach and I will not allow our communities to continually live in fear,” he said.

About a half-dozen grief counselors were sent today to Cabrillo High to help students deal with the loss of their classmate, who was described as well- liked with many friends.

Students’ bags were also checked as a precaution when they got to campus, according to reports from the scene.

Montelongo was being held without bail at the Long Beach Police Department jail and was expected to be arraigned Monday, LBPD spokeswoman Nancy Pratt said.

At the time of his arrest, he had three outstanding warrants, all for alleged acts committed while he was a juvenile, she said. Two of the warrants had bail amounts under $1,000 but the third was a no-bail warrant that allows police to hold Montelongo until his arraignment, according to Pratt, who said she could not release details because it was a juvenile case.

City News Service

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