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Northeast Middle School stabbing suspect faces first-degree murder and other charges

A gray sedan with the letters KCPS is parked outside a large brick, three-story building. A row of school buses is lined up next to it.
Carlos Moreno
/
KCUR 89.3
School buses line up Tuesday morning outside Northeast Middle School to take students home early after Manuel Guzman was stabbed during a confrontation inside a school bathroom.

Manuel J. Guzman, a 14-year-old student, died Tuesday night after he was stabbed at Northeast Middle School.

The Kansas City Police Department has identified 14-year-old Manuel J. Guzman as the student who died Tuesday following a stabbing at Northeast Middle School.

Officers said the suspect, another student who was taken into custody on Tuesday, has been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon in the Jackson County Juvenile Court.

Because he was charged as a juvenile, his identity was not disclosed.

On Tuesday, the KCPD responded to reports of a stabbing at Northeast Middle School. Officers found Guzman with stab wounds inside a school bathroom. He was taken to the hospital in life-threatening condition.

Police spokeswoman Donna Drake said a confrontation between the two boys appears to have led up to the incident.

Kansas City Public School Superintendent Mark Bedell said in an email to families on Tuesday night that he was “devastated for our students, our families and our NEMS community.”

He said additional security and counseling services would be in place at Northeast Middle School when students and staff returned on Wednesday.

“Our students need us — now more than ever. Tomorrow, we start the difficult work of helping students and staff process grief and loss,” Bedell said. “I need you with Team KCPS to support our students and each other.”

A GoFundMe has been set up by Guzman's family to help cover funeral expenses.

Kansas City Mayor Lucas, noting on Twitter that four homicides had occurred within 24 hours, called for more investment in youth mental health services and reducing the volume of illegally trafficked and obtained weapons.

More than ever, education lies at the intersection of equity, housing, funding, and other diverse issues facing Kansas City’s students, families and teachers. As KCUR’s education reporter, I’ll break down the policies driving these issues in schools and report what’s happening in our region's classrooms. You can reach me at jodifortino@kcur.org.
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