Two teenagers and an 11-year-old were hospitalized after one of them stabbed the other two and then herself early Saturday morning at a home near Sonoma Elementary School in east Modesto, police said.
Emergency crews responded at 1:06 a.m. to the 2600 block of East Orangeburg Avenue, where they found two 13-year-old girls and the 11-year-old girl in a bedroom with stab wounds, said Heather Graves, a Modesto Police Department spokeswoman.
The girls were taken to nearby hospitals. Early indications are that one 13-year-old stabbed her 11-year-old sister and the other 13-year-old before stabbing herself, Graves said. The suspect, she said, is in serious condition and the two other girls are critical.
The investigation into the circumstances behind the stabbing is ongoing, Graves said. She provided few details about the injuries.
“Mom made the call,” said Graves. She said both parents were home, but did not have more information about the family.
“It is horrible,” she said. “I feel so terrible for these two families. I have kids myself.”
Graves said that in her 13 years on the job, she cannot remember such a heart-wrenching incident. “I can’t imagine,” she said.
The Modesto Regional Fire Authority sent two engines and a chief officer to the scene, said Battalion Chief Randy Anderson. Three firefighters went with the ambulances to the hospitals. “Everything was happening so fast,” he said.
All three girls are Modesto City Schools students and counselors will be available Monday morning at their schools, Superintendent Pam Able said in response to a Modesto Bee inquiry. She declined to identify the campuses because she did not know if the principals had been contacted yet.
“It is a devastating situation,” she said.
Later Saturday, neighbors at a garage sale in Cordero Court said sirens awakened them early that morning. They said the family was quiet and not well-known. A husband and wife live in the home with two adolescent girls, according to one neighbor. The home is next to Sonoma Elementary School and on busy Orangeburg Avenue.
A neighbor directly across the street said the family had lived in the home for about two years, and the father was often seen mowing the lawn.
A few doors down from the home, Ross Chhy said he was coming home around 1 a.m. and saw dozens of police, fire and ambulance crews along the street. Chhy said he walks his daughter past the home each day to preschool class at Sonoma Elementary.
“I see (the father) out doing his lawn and say ‘hi,’ but I don’t really know him,” Chhy said. It’s a pretty quiet neighborhood, he said.
“We felt like we were in the safest place,” Chhy said. “That’s so gut-checking.”