Crisis counselors were on hand at South East High School Monday to help students deal with the death of 17-year-old Cindi Santana. She was allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend Abraham Lopez, 18, on campus Friday.
Authorities say that Santana was attacked during lunch by Lopez, who is also a student. Witnesses said Lopez punched Santana in the face, began choking her and then stabbed her several times.
"It was really sad to see what happened. I was standing in front of it," said student Michelle Gomez. "It was really intense."
Varsity football player George Garcia and a female dean and were also injured while trying to subdue Lopez.
Santana later died at St. Francis Medical Center.
Lopez was arrested on Sept. 25 for making a criminal threat against Santana. Authorities said he sent he text messages saying that he was going to send men to beat up her sister's husband.
The District Attorney did not press charges due to insufficient evidence and Lopez was released from jail on Tuesday.
LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said the school did know about his arrest.
"We were looking for him obviously, we were notified of that," said Deasy. "But he did not come to school that week."
Deasy said that Lopez did not attend classes on Friday but came onto the campus during lunch.
Students who witnessed the violent attack still can't believe what happened.
"I didn't think he would go this far," said student Ruby Sarias. She said that Santana and Lopez had been dating since the ninth grade. She recalled Santana talking about their relationship during gym class.
"The things she would tell me, he seemed really obsessive," she said. "She would tell me even when they weren't together he would get upset if she was talking to other guys."
"I think he was blind with rage," said student Christian Delgado. "When I saw him on the floor, he didn't have no reaction. It was just blank. It wasn't him."
Students are also collecting donations for Santana's family to help pay for funeral expenses.
Lopez remains in jail without bail. He has been charged with murder. He is set to be arraigned on Tuesday.