Teen arrested in connection with fatal stabbing of high school Connecticut lacrosse player

·3 min read
James McGrath, 17, was one of four people stabbed outside a home in Shelton, Connecticut over the weekend. He was the only one to die from his injuries, police said. (GoFundMe)
James McGrath, 17, was one of four people stabbed outside a home in Shelton, Connecticut over the weekend. He was the only one to die from his injuries, police said. (GoFundMe)

A Connecticut teenager has been arrested in connection with the deadly stabbing of a 17-year-old high school lacrosse player last weekend, local authorities reported.

James “Jimmy” McGrath was killed on 14 May after he and three others were stabbed following a house party in Shelton, located about a 25-minute drive from New Haven.

All four were taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for their injuries, with the three other teens suffering non-life-threatening wounds, while McGrath was later pronounced dead at the facility.

The Shelton Police Department announced the arrest of the unidentified 16-year-old from Milford on Wednesday. He has been charged with murder and three counts of assault in the first degree and was initially being held at the Bridgeport Juvenile Detention Center on a $2,000,000 bond.

The juvenile attended his first court appearance on Wednesday at the New Haven Juvenile Court and according to The Daily Beast, the accused killer will be tried as an adult, though it will be up to the judge to determine if his name will be released.

James McGrath, 17, died after he was stabbed at a house party in Connecticut. (Fairfield Prep)
James McGrath, 17, died after he was stabbed at a house party in Connecticut. (Fairfield Prep)

On Saturday night, Shelton police officers were called to the home just before midnight. When they arrived at the scene, they reported that there were several people, mostly teenagers, outside the Laurel Glen Dr house.

The investigation into the fatal stabbing of the Fairfield College Preparatory School student is still active, the department said, and they are asking anyone with additional information to come forward.

Since the tragic news of the teenager’s untimely death, an onslaught of support has poured in from the small tight knit community that the two-sport athlete McGrath called home.

A GoFundMe campaign created by a family friend has so far raised more than $122,000 (£97,547) to help support the McGrath family, well over their outset goal of $15,000 (£11,993).

McGrath, who played on both the football and lacrosse team at Fairfield College Preparatory School, was remembered by more than 1,000 classmates and teachers at the Jesuit high school during a private prayer service on the school’s campus on Sunday.

“The Fairfield Prep community mourns the loss of junior Jimmy McGrath and we extend our deepest sympathies to the McGrath family,” a Monday statement from Fairfield administrators read. “Jimmy was a beloved student and athlete on the football and lacrosse teams, and will forever be a member of the Prep Brotherhood.”

In a separate school wide service held on Monday, President Christian Cashman of the preparatory school addressed the students and faculty, reassuring them that guidance counsellors and mental health support would be on staff in the coming weeks.

“I offer once again Prep’s loving condolence and embrace of the McGrath family. May the Spirit of healing peace and love enfold them, and may we be instruments of peace and healing in the days ahead,” Mr Cashman said. “May God bless Jimmy McGrath, Class of 2023, forever a Man for Others, forever a Son of Fairfield Prep.”

The Independent has reached out to the Shelton Police Department for comment.

In McGrath’s obituary, his family recalled the teenager’s “loving and caring” disposition and described him as a ”wonderfully happy person with a big heart who was a loving friend to many”.

“He loved his school, Fairfield Prep, and he excelled as an athlete in every sport he chose,” the obituary read. “He understood the meaning of being part of a team. His loyalty and support of his team members were known to all and his team mates and coaches treasured his dedication and willingness to work hard so that the team could be the very best it could possibly be.”