Police are disputing school officials and saying that two students, not one, were stabbed during a fight Thursday afternoon at Waukegan High School’s Washington Campus.
Waukegan High School Lead Principal Timothy Bryner initially said that an altercation between two students escalated to one student stabbing the other with a sharp object around 12 p.m. Thursday.
On Friday, the Waukegan Police Department said that a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy had gotten into a verbal altercation which then escalated to a physical fight.
During the fight, both students stabbed each other with unknown items, which have not been recovered by police, according to Waukegan Police Commander Joe Florip.
The 17-year-old boy was transported to an area hospital with “moderate to serious injuries” and remains hospitalized. The 16-year-old boy was transported to an area hospital with “moderate injuries” and has since been released.
Florip said that both students are described as “mutual combatants” and the motive for the incident is still unclear. Charges are expected against both students once the investigation is complete.
The Washington Campus, which is located at 1011 Washington Street, was placed on soft lockdown following the stabbing.
A brief video posted on Facebook by Faviola Gutierrez showed the fight along with blood covering the ground of the bathroom floor.
School officials do not believe the fight is related to a threatening message that was discovered in a restroom earlier this week.
“Our staff is just as shocked and saddened by this incident as I am sure you are. We know these types of incidents can be stressful and worrisome for students and parents, as accurate information is limited, but please know that the safety of our students and staff is always a top priority,” Waukegan High School Lead Principal Timothy Bryner said.
“Our school employs several enhanced safety measures beyond what is considered standard school security, including metal detectors and x-ray machines, which students and their belongings pass through prior to entering the building. With that said, we are constantly reevaluating and refining our procedures to ensure the safest school environment,” Bryner said.
School officials said that the campus will enhance safety measures this week.
“We want to thank parents for their patience and understanding, and wish to thank students for their cooperation and maturity during that we know was a stressful situation. If you feel your child would benefit from speaking with one of our mental health professionals, please know they will be available tomorrow,” Bryner said in a statement Thursday.
The Waukegan Police Department Criminal Investigations Division continues to investigate the incident.