17-year-old charged with murder in stabbing of Fitzgerald High School student

Witnesses: Lewis smiling and laughing during attack

WARREN, Mich. – The suspect in the fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old girl Wednesday morning at Fitzgerald High School in Warren was arraigned Friday.

UPDATESuspect in fatal Fitzgerald High School stabbing to get psychiatric evaluation

Tanaya Lewis, 17, was charged with first-degree murder. She could face life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors said the victim, Danyna Gibson, tried to flee Lewis but was stabbed multiple times and suffered a punctured lung.

There were multiple witnesses.

"Witnesses said the defendant was smiling and laughing as she was chasing the victim," a prosecutor said during the arraignment.

Prosecutors requested Lewis not receive bond. The judge agreed.

READFatal stabbing inside Fitzgerald High School: Here's what we know


Around 8:30 a.m. two girls in the classroom ended up in a loud and ugly fight over the boy, police said.

Lewis allegedly used a kitchen-style steak knife to stab Gibson twice in her chest, police said. Gibson died at a hospital about an hour later. 

Danyna Gibson (WDIV)

Lewis was taken into police custody at the school.

No other students were injured.

Police recovered the knife and are working to find out when and how it was brought into the school.

The school was closed for the rest of the day Wednesday and Thursday. Students were dismissed about 10 a.m. Wednesday. All Thursday classes were canceled. 

Fitzgerald High School released the following statement: 

"We are deeply saddened to share that the Fitzgerald High School student who was stabbed this morning passed away at the hospital. Our hearts and prayers go out to the student’s family and we offer our deepest sympathy. Students at Fitzgerald High School were released at 10 a.m. this morning. On Thursday, Sept. 13, Fitzgerald High School will be closed however the middle school and elementary schools will be open. At the High School we have deployed additional counselors, psychologists and social workers for students and staff who need support during this difficult time. Students and their parents may come to the High School between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. for support and assistance. We are working very closely with the police department on this matter as well as conducting an internal school review of the incident which will review all our current safety procedures and protocols. This is a time of mourning for the Fitzgerald Community and we ask for you to respect the privacy of the victim’s family." 

Previous reporting on the incident: 

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.