Students wary following slashing attack

January 15, 2008 10:38:58 AM PST
Action News was at the school where a student was seriously hurt, one day after a gang of teens slashed her.

As an evangelist shouted spiritual guidance at students heading to West Philadelphia High School on Tuesday morning, many minds were on a violent attack Monday afternoon that was devoid of any spirituality or divinity.

Just after school was dismissed, 15-year-old Shakia West and a 16-year-old student were attacked. Police say the two were waiting for a bus near 48th & Spruce when 10 teenage girls jumped out of a car and began slashing the girls with either a box cutter or straight edge razor.

Some students say they are haunted by what they saw.

"We was about to get on the bus and I turned around and I saw them fighting, " Jamire Moore, a 9th grader, told Action News. "The girls who got beat up, they was just standing at the bus stop about to get on."

Detectives say the 16-year-old was the actual target of the attack and that Shakia was severely wounded when she jumped in to help. Shakia's aunt described the teens injuries outside Children's Hospital Monday night. "She took 60 stitches to put her nose back on her face. Twenty stitches under her nose. Thirty stitches to the side of her face. Two to her ear two to her eye," Rhonda Carson said.

The 16-year-old reportedly suffered superficial cuts on her face. She told police she's had problems and fights with the girl who led the attack. She said there are problems that may stem from being new at the school.

While most students say the attack hasn't frightened them, some parents continue to worry about their children being able to avoid the claws of violence.

"I try to tell my son do what's right," Angel Henderson said. "Stay out of trouble. Don't go looking for trouble. You see trouble coming your way just walk away."

Police are looking for teens between 14 to 17 years old and an adult female who believe drove teenage girls around looking for the intended victim.