Court document outlines Baltimore school stabbing, student's arrest

A 17-year-old boy has been charged as an adult in Tuesday's stabbing at Renaissance Academy.

Before the stabbing in a Renaissance Academy biology classroom on Tuesday, Donte Crawford appears on school surveillance cameras pacing back and forth in the hallway outside, as if he is "waiting for staff members and teachers to leave the area," according to a court document.

The 17-year-old sophomore then leans against a bank of lockers, looks around once more, and enters the classroom, where several witnesses told police he stabbed a 17-year-old junior multiple times, the document says.

Crawford is next seen "running from the classroom and toward the south end of the building," the document says. "Several seconds later, [the victim] is seen stumbling out of the same classroom in the opposite direction where he then collapses in front of several students and staff members."

Baltimore Police announced Wednesday morning that Crawford had been arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder in the stabbing, and that the victim remained in critical condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. But they have declined to release many other details about what occurred, including the victim's name.

The court document — a statement of probable cause for Crawford's arrest written by a school police officer who responded to the scene — provides many of those details for the first time.

According to Officer Kevin James' accounting of the events, he received a call about 12:30 p.m. from the school's principal, Nikkia Rowe, who informed him there had been a stabbing at Renaissance. When James arrived at the school, he observed the victim "suffering from multiple stab wounds to his upper torso and left arm," he wrote. Two other officers were already administering first aid and applying pressure to the victim's wounds, James wrote, as he lay unresponsive in a staircase.

Meanwhile, other units were being called to the school for crowd control.

Almost immediately, both students and faculty members informed James that Crawford had stabbed the victim. Having formerly been assigned to the school, James had "prior knowledge" of both of the students, who he wrote "had previous known physical and verbal altercations" with one another.

James said he put out an alert through a school communication system with a description of Crawford, who was wearing a black hoodie and gray sweatpants, and Crawford's family address.

Crawford was spotted about 1:30 p.m. by three other officers trying to enter his home in the 800 block of Vine Street. He was "immediately taken into custody without further incident" and transported to the Baltimore Police Department's homicide unit downtown, James wrote.

Crawford's clothing "was covered in suspected blood," James wrote.

At the time of the stabbing, a substitute teacher had been instructing the biology class when Crawford entered, James wrote. Afterward, the scene devolved.

"May it also be duly noted," James wrote at the end of his statement, "this incident disrupted the normal operation of the school by causing a large crowd of agitated students to [form] in a riotous manner and to fight one another."

James also wrote that no officers on the scene were equipped with body cameras.

Police on Wednesday said that Crawford, charged as an adult, was being held in Central Booking in advance of a bail hearing.

krector@baltsun.com

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