An assault and fatal stabbing — in the middle of class — at a Santa Rosa high school

A woman hugs one of three boys
Ana Canul embraces one of her three sons as the older boys were released from a lockdown Wednesday at Montgomery High in Santa Rosa, Calif., following a fatal stabbing on campus.
(Beth Schlanker / Associated Press)

A 16-year-old student was killed Wednesday in a stabbing at a Santa Rosa high school, city police officials said.

The incident occurred around 11:15 a.m. Wednesday at Montgomery High School when two teen boys, juniors at the school, walked into a classroom and began assaulting a freshman, Santa Rosa Police Chief John Cregan said at a news conference streamed by the Press-Telegram.

School faculty attempted to break up the fight, but the freshman allegedly pulled out a 3- to 4-inch-long folding knife and stabbed both juniors.


The two injured students left the classroom and headed to the school nurse. Both were conscious when police arrived at the scene.

Before the shootings, Jaime Tran had been charged with carrying a loaded firearm and was investigated after threats were sent to former classmates.

March 1, 2023

One of the students suffered multiple stab wounds to his upper body and died at a hospital. The other student, who was expected to survive, suffered a stab wound to his left hand, officials said.

San Francisco news station KGO reported that family identified the deceased student as Jayden Pienta. Soon after the killing, a memorial to Pienta sprung up on the Montgomery High campus.

The 15-year-old freshman reportedly fled the campus after the fight but was found in a nearby creek bed and arrested.

“It appears that there had been some previous altercations between these students,” Cregan said at the news conference.

Several students shouted questions and comments at officials as they attempted to end the conference.


“Why does it take ... death in order for our voices to be heard?” asked one student, who identified as a senior. “The school should be held accountable.”

“The school knew that these two had problems beforehand,” the student said.