A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed to death outside the gates of his school has been named locally as Khayri McLean.
The “wonderful student” was attacked outside North Huddersfield Trust School, in Huddersfield, at the end of the school day on Wednesday.
West Yorkshire Police said they were called at around 2.54pm and arrived to find a boy had been seriously assaulted outside the school gates.
He was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary but died as a result of his injuries, prompting detectives to launch a murder investigation.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder at around 5am on Thursday, at a property in the Bradley area of Huddersfield.
Now, Khayri’s girlfriend has launched a GoFundMe page for his family to give the teen “the best send off”.
Shyana James, 16, sobbed: “He was the love of my life. We were talking about our future the other day. He was just the best person I knew.”
She told how she’d spoken to her boyfriend of six months via Snapchat at 2.52pm.
“The last thing he said was I can’t wait to see you,” a tearful Shyana, who arrived wearing Khayri’s coat, said.
“He just told me how his day had been, he just said, ‘it’s been really good,’ and sent me a picture of him walking home, right by the bollards where he was killed.
“He would do anything for me, he would drop everything if I had something going on to be there.”
Shyana, who met Khayri at school but had recently moved to a different college in the city, said a friend called her to say she had seen him hurt outside school.
She then got a taxi to the scene and saw him lying on the pavement ‘with the ambulance and paramedics all around him.’
Witnesses say the masked attacker was wearing a balaclava with his hood up when they launched a knife at Khayri.
One hero teacher sprung into action and started performing CPR on the injured teen.
Shyana’s mother, Sherrin James, 35, was already at the scene with Khayri’s distraught mother, Marcia, when she got there.
Mrs James, a home carer, broke down as she said: “My daughter rang me to say her friend had seen him hurt and bleeding bad. I came straight to the scene, his mum was here with some of the teachers.
“I got on the floor with them and was holding his hand, it was really scary. I was just trying to make him pull through, telling him to wait for Shyana, he was squeezing my hand.”
Mrs James said she and her daughter followed the ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary, but doctors were unable to save him.
Referring to the young couple, Mrs James added: “For six months they have been inseparable. The boy had a heart of gold, he would do anything for his loved ones.
“Shyana adored him, he was her first proper boyfriend. He was at my house every day, he was a lovely boy, he smiled so much.”
Asked about what she thought of those who carry knives, Shyana said: “I hate it and Khayri hated it as well.’ But she added: “Gangs are getting worse around here, they are getting innocent people. It’s horrible.
“It’s disgusting, I’ve also got a son that goes to the school and he is scared.
“We have no idea what’s provoked this…he was the perfect boy…
“We’re at a loss to understand why it’s happened. We just do not know. “
Tragically, a number of other young boys witnessed the horrific attack first hand and claim they had seen two balaclava-clad figures waiting around by the school gates.
Alfie Wilkinson, 12, and Ruben Duncan-Keane, 12, watched on in terror as Khayri was set upon with a blade.
Pupil Alfie, said: “We seen him about, he was a very popular guy. Never seen him without his friends and never seen him have an argument.
“I seen him laid on the floor there and one of my great teachers trying to help him.
“The amount of respect I have for that teacher is unbelievable, just for him to do that, he was the first person there trying to help him.
“Great student and great kid and now he’s passed and he can’t see him mum no more and it’s just a shock.
“It’s traumatising. I’m staying close to home now just in case something happens to me.”
His tearful friend, Ruben Duncan, also said he was “traumatised” and added: “I never thought it could be him… he was fine and never did anything wrong to anybody.”
The pair shed tears as they returned to the scene to pay their respects as many left flowers and notes which read “may you fly with the angels”.
Another note left with a bouquet at the scene read: “Another young life taken way too soon over hideous nonsense.”
Others took to social media to pay tribute to the youngster as they wrote “RIP Khy” and condemned knife crime.
One wrote: “What’s the world coming to, when a school boy is stabbed as he leaves school. disgusting world we live in.”
Another said: “I can’t imagine saying goodbye to my child in the morning and then after school they have been murdered. I’m lost for words. This hurts. RIP Khayri.”
While a third wrote: “Such a terrible tragedy happened to a young boy. My heart goes out to Khayri’s family.”
Officers pounced on an address in the early hours of Thursday morning and arrested a teenage boy as disturbing clips of the incident began circulating on social media.
In a statement West Yorkshire Police said: “The youth was arrested at an address in Huddersfield shortly before 5am this morning in connection with the incident in Woodhouse Hill, Fartown, yesterday afternoon.
“He remains in custody and enquiries are ongoing led by detectives from West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team.”
Now staff and students are being offered specialist support instead of lessons.
North Huddersfield Trust headteahcher, Andrew Fell, paid tribute to the victim and described him as a “wonderful student”.
He said: “Our deepest sympathies go out to the pupil’s family and friends who must feel, as we do, completely devastated.
“They have lost a loved one and we have lost a wonderful student from our school community.”
In an official statement from the school, the incident was described as “truly shocking for our pupils, your children and our staff”.
Parents were told school would not open until 10.30am on Thursday and would only be open to offer support to students following the tragic incident.
Mr Fell confirmed a staff briefing would take place on Thursday morning about access to support services for anyone who needs it in the community.
Afiya Mahmood, 39, who lives opposite the school, said she was working from home when she got a message from her husband about the attack.
She said: “It must have been about half an hour after the incident had happened. I hadn’t heard anything but I ran up to see what happened.
“I could see the boy from the window, and the paramedics working on the child.”
She added: “There were a lot of paramedics, about 15 or 20, or that’s what it felt like anyway. Then they took him away.
“It’s very overwhelming, distressing. It’s shocking, it’s just a young boy isn’t it.”