Mayor de Blasio is calling for an investigation into whether the deadly stabbing of a boy outside a Bronx middle school Wednesday could have been prevented.
He made the announcement on Friday, Diploma Day for the class of 2014 at Joseph Wade Middle School in Morris Heights, where Noel Estevez allegedly stabbed Timothy Crump after school on Wednesday.
"Every time I come over here, I start crying," said a 15-year-old student who witnessed the stabbing after school on Wednesday.
Estevez and Crump, both 14, had once been friends but Crump reportedly began bullying Estevez months ago.
At a special assembly for parents on Friday, administrators offered continued counseling and asked parents for suggestions about how next year can be safer, according to parent Amanda Hernandez.
But one father says it came too late.
"If the kid felt that he was in danger, they should have moved him to another school," said Omar Taveras.
Police said Estevez admitted stabbing Crump after a fight over an iPhone, and after Crump allegedly threatened, harassed and bullied Estevez for months.
"There was a history of bullying by the deceased and friends of his," said defense attorney Eric Poulos. "My client and his mother sought various ways, through the school system, through the police department, to stop this. No one would help."
Estevez's lawyer said it was his first time back to class in months after trying to transfer schools and avoid his alleged tormentors. Law enforcement sources said Estevez's dad had asked that his son get a safety transfer on the night before the stabbing.
"They were after him for three months," said Poulos. "They couldn't find him because he stayed behind closed doors. He came out of closed doors and they sicced on him."
De Blasio vowed Friday to "take a hard look at how we as a city address mental health and safety in our schools," including whether someone could have intercepted the troubled teens before the fatal attack.
Estevez is facing murder and manslaughter charges as an adult.