Alexandria student killed in brawl at Bradlee Mall

Updated Wednesday, May 25 at 10:06 a.m.

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson released a statement on Tuesday’s violence at the Bradlee Mall and the death of Luis Mejia Hernandez.

Updated at 8:22 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24

Alexandria City High School student Luis Mejia Hernandez was killed Tuesday after being stabbed in a fight that reportedly involved dozens of students.

Alexandria Police say the 18-year-old student was stabbed during a fight outside McDonald’s at the Bradlee Mall. At the start of this academic year,

The fight took place during lunch, around 12:25 p.m. Police estimated that 30 to 50 people were present in the parking lot during the event. The Alexandria City High School campuses – both Minnie Howard and the main campus – were placed in “secure building” status until 3:15 p.m.

“The first call for service was received at approximately 12:26 p.m. for a large group fight in the 3600 block of King Street. During the fight, a man was seriously injured and transported to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries,” according to a police report.

“Police are still investigating the incident and are asking anyone who may have information relating to this matter to contact APD Detective Christine Escobar by phone at 703.746.6819, by email at [email protected] , or call our non-emergency line at 703.746.4444 Tipping can be anonymous.

Shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. issued the following message to all parents at Alexandria City Public School:

Dear ACPS Families,

Today was a tragic day for our school community. Today we mourn the loss of one of our Class of 2022 Titans. We hear of the deep grief that people in our community are going through and we want to give people time to come to terms with this traumatic loss and make about what this means for our school community.

Following today’s tragedy, many are experiencing mental health issues and disbelief as we anticipate the end of the school year. For this reason, students at all four campuses of Alexandria City High School (ACHS) will transition to asynchronous virtual learning for Wednesday. May 25, 2022. All ACHS students must log in to their account in Cloth Where Clever for information specific to their courses.

We believe that the transition to virtual learning for our secondary students will give our school community the time and space to grieve and process this loss, and we will have support team members from the schools, from the Department of Student Services and Equity and the city’s Department of Community and Social Services available on-site for anyone in need of this support. On-site counseling materials will be available in English and Spanish. Interpretation services will also be available. If a student feels they would like virtual counseling supports, they can contact any SST member who will connect them to a virtual session. For any needs or concerns, students or families can contact their school counselor by e-mail, through Canvas or by calling the school at 703-824-6800.

It can be difficult to discuss such a loss with your children. There are resources to cope with the loss National Association of School Psychologists to support you in these discussions. There are also professional Student Support Team at each school to support you. In addition, a disturbing video related to this loss is circulating on social networks. Please monitor your children’s social media usage and encourage them not to view the video or share it with others.

We understand that some high school students need to meet the Learning Standards (SOL) test requirements this week. We will be working with students to reschedule SOL tests in the coming days.

I am grateful that the Alexandria City community is coming together during these trying times to partner with us in caring for our students and staff. Please join me in keeping the family in your thoughts over the next few weeks.

With my deepest sympathy,

Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.

Superintendent

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Earlier this academic year, in September 2021, Alexandria police responded to a shooting involving ACHS students. The fight after school resulted in one of the people involved being shot. This student survived. Several small fights have taken place over the past few months, many during lunch or shortly after school.

Edwin S. Wolfe