EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A teen from North Branford has died after he was stabbed with a knife Tuesday night outside an East Haven elementary school, according to authorities.

East Haven police identified the victim as 15-year-old Dustin Cecarelli and the chief medical examiner’s office said he died from a stab wound to his chest and ruled his death a homicide.

Officers responded to a report of an altercation just before 6:30 p.m. in the courtyard of Grove J. Tuttle Elementary School. Officers learned Cecarelli had been assaulted with a knife during a physical fight involving several people.

Police said the East Haven Fire Department treated Cecarelli before he was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital, where he died.

Everyone involved in the fight was identified, and there was no threat to the public, police said.

“This is an active and ongoing criminal investigation,” East Haven police wrote. “We are working closely with the State’s Attorney’s Office and information regarding pending charges will be forthcoming.”

In a statement to parents and staff, North Branford Public Schools Superintendent Scott Schoonmaker confirmed Cecarelli was a student within the district.

“We care deeply for all North Branford students and we extend our sincerest sympathy to the family and friends of the student involved,” Schoonmaker wrote. “We are committed to providing support to our students in this difficult time. School counselors, psychologists, social workers and other staff are available to assist any student who needs support as a result of this incident.” 

Schoonmaker said students and parents are encouraged to contact teachers, counselors, or administration to access available resources. The phone number for the North Branford High School principal is (203) 484-1465. 

East Haven Mayor Joseph Carfora said, “Senseless violence like this has no place in our community.”

“The East Haven Police Department has the full support of my office to do whatever is necessary to bring those responsible to justice,” Carfora said.

Police said there will be an increased police presence at all East Haven Public Schools as a precaution.

The video below aired in our 5 p.m. newscast on May 24, 2023.