Student jailed in Oñate High School stabbing

Victim, suspect members of rival gangs, police say

Johnny David Dennis

Las Cruces Police Department

Las Cruces police have arrested a 16-year-old suspected in Monday afternoon’s altercation at Oñate High School that left another student with a stab wound to his abdomen, police said.

Johnny David Dennis was arrested Monday and is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon on school premises and possession of drug paraphernalia. Dennis was booked into the juvenile section of the Doña Ana County jail.

Around 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, shortly after classes were dismissed for the day, Las Cruces police got a report of an on-campus altercation between two Oñate students. Police discovered that the altercation resulted in a 16-year-old suffering at least one stab wound.

The victim first was taken to the school’s office and later was flown to University Medical Center in El Paso. His injuries are not life-threatening, police said.

Investigators allege that Dennis and the victim are members of rival gangs, and the two had a verbal disagreement during Monday’s lunch hour. Investigators believe the two agreed to meet after school to fight each other.

As classes were dismissed for the day, Dennis waited near the school bus area for the victim to arrive, police said. As the victim approached, Dennis allegedly pulled out a butterfly-type knife and stabbed the other student once in the stomach. A Las Cruces police school resource officer was nearby and broke up the fight. The knife was recovered by the officer, and Dennis was immediately taken into custody.

Officers also allegedly found Dennis in possession of a glass pipe used for smoking marijuana, which he acknowledge doing earlier in the day.

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