ALEXANDRIA, Va. (7News) — As families prepare for the first day of school, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares wrote a letter Wednesday to the Alexandria Mayor, City Council and school board about school safety, in light of the May stabbing and murder of one of Alexandria City High School student, Luis Mejia Hernandez.
Hernandez, 16, was stabbed during a large group fight between about 30 to 50 young people outside a McDonald's near the school on May 24, police said.
While trying to control the group of teens, police found Hernandez suffering from a stab wound. He was taken to an area hospital, where he died.
Hernandez was an ACHS senior and would have graduated on June 4.
READ | 16-year-old boy arrested for stabbing death of Alexandria City High student, police say
In the letter, Miyares offered support to the city, and he also encourages them to hire more security resource officers (SROs) and work more closely with local police regarding criminal activity and reporting.
Here is the letter:
Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson released the following statement in response to Miyares' letter:
“We did just receive the letter this morning [Wednesday]. We will be providing a written response of both bodies. As a parent of two ACPS students, I am always a strong supporter of efforts to ensure that our students are safe and thriving. If the Attorney General wants to be part of that discussion, we will welcome that! It is somewhat telling that the Attorney General sent his letter to the media a few minutes after he sent it to us. That tells me he’s not trying to be part of the solution, he’s trying to play politics with our schools. We don’t need letters from Richmond. We need funding and good policies to support our students.”
The Alexandria City Public Schools community has already seen an increase in police and security this school year after Hernandez's death.
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Alexandria Police told 7News on Monday that the shopping center where the large group fight occurred has security and off-duty officers on patrol during the day.
In addition to off-duty officers on patrol, the police department has provided five school resource officers to work at the schools, with two of them designated to the high school. Ballantine said the district will have an additional officer there to help patrol outside.
ACPS also said in a letter to parents, that they will have more security officers, provided by the school on campus as well. The school district is working with a committee of 16 community members including some ACPS staff, to come up with a plan on how to work effectively with police.