Back in October 2017, a 16-year-old high school student named Brayan Andino was lured to Lake Balboa in Los Angeles, California, by two female MS-13 gang members and beaten to death. The group then dismembered his body, cut his heart out, and threw him into a canyon, where he was later found.
However, school administrators kept the murder quiet for nearly two years until last month.
They declined to let parents, students, and teachers know about the dangers of the gang, according to The Los Angeles Times, because other students were never in danger, the gang had little presence on campus, and no acts of gang violence affected the campus itself.
But a month before Andino’s death, another incident linked to MS-13 erupted at the edge of the San Fernando Valley campus.
“At least two MS-13 members, including two former Panorama students, are suspected of stabbing and wounding a student as he was leaving school, officials acknowledged,” the Times reported.
The crime scene was revealed last month illustrated that gang members approached the victim, yelled “MS” to announce their gang affiliation and suspected the victim was a member of a rival gang. Though the victim claimed he was not, he was stabbed “in the back and abdomen.” But the student did not come to the same end as Andino. He managed to make it to the school’s office, where someone was able to call for help.
The L.A. Unified School District has denied the presence of a gang clique at the school and said it left the question of whether parents and students should have been alerted to investigators.
As details of the gang’s connections became public over the last week, some parents and teachers have questioned why officials didn’t alert the campus community earlier.
Capt. William P. Hayes, commander of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, told the Times that investigators were trying to prevent parents and students from spreading the word around the school and worried the gang could wind up targets, which would put people at risk.
It said earlier this month that officials with the Los Angeles Unified School District acknowledged along with 22 adults charged on racketeering and murder, students had also been charged.
According to prosecutors, they are members of the Fulton clique that killed seven people in the stretch of more than two years.
Kelly Gonez, the school board representative for the San Fernando Valley area, told the Times that the school district relies on the best judgment of the law enforcement experts who are working to uncover the truth and bring the perpetrators to justice.