High school student killed in Myrtle Beach school stabbing - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

High school student killed in Myrtle Beach school stabbing

(Myrtle Beach) May 18, 2006 - Horry County authorities say an 18-year-old student has died after being stabbed early Thursday outside two Myrtle Beach schools near Conway, about 15 miles from Myrtle Beach.

Horry County Deputy Coroner Don Bellamy tells WIS 18-year-old Natalia Allison Holmes of Myrtle Beach, a student at Carolina Forest High School, was pronounced dead at Conway Medical Center at 8:30 Thursday morning.

The suspect, identified as 24-year-old Edwin Lee Cornelius, of Aynor, was apprehended shortly after the incident, and he's charged with murder.

The incident happened in a drop-off location in front of the school around 8:00 Thursday morning as students were arriving at Carolina Forest Middle School .

Horry County police say Cornelius and Holmes were boyfriend and girlfriend. Cornelius was dropping off Holmes at school, and officials say that's when a bad break-up turned violent.

Outside the school, sixth-grader Deondra McClary says she saw a man chasing a girl, "He got her and he um, he stabbed her right here in the chest. And he stabbed her in her stomach. And that's when he was beating her up after that."

"This morning, as school was beginning, when the parents were coming into the school and dropping their kids off this morning, some sort of altercation occurred between the victim and the suspect in the parking lot. As a result of that, the suspect stabbed the victim. He fled the scene," said Horry County Police Sgt. Bob Carr.

Officers think there was only one man involved in the stabbing.

Officers say student accounts helped lead them to their suspect. Sgt. Carr says, "Eventually as a result of all that information we were able to determine that there was some sort of vehicle involved. We were able to determine the tag. Members of Horry County police found that vehicle on Highway 90 not too far from here and eventually arrested the person."

Holmes had moved to the area at the beginning of the school year from California. The nature of the relationship between the two has not yet been determined.

WIS has learned Cornelius has a record of criminal domestic violence. He was convicted last year, but that offense was not related to Holmes.

Following the incident, both Carolina Forest Middle School and Carolina Forest High School were locked down.

"None of the students in either of the schools, the middle or high school, were in danger. This was unrelated to the school. It just happened to be in the school parking lot," Carr said.

School remained in session, but parents were being allowed to individually remove their children. The school brought in counselors and sent a letter home about what happened.

The day was difficult for school principal Velma Allen, "It's something I hope no other principal has to go through. I mean, a teenager, to lose a teenager under any circumstances is a terrible thing. But something of that violent nature makes it even more difficult."

12-year-old Chizo Ekechukwu is a sixth grader at nearby Carolina Forest Middle School. She saw 18-year-old Natalia Allison Holmes after she was stabbed. Chizo did know the girl, she says many people were crying and went home.

Her father, Peter Ekechukwu, is a member of the school improvement council. He says he's seen an increase in the number of resource officers who patrol the schools and would like to see more. He says he tried to reassure the children this is an abnormal incident.

40-year-old Nadine Civitella has children in both schools. She went to the schools but left her children there because she felt the schools were safe.

Parent Tanaya McClary is shaken, "You would want to send your child to school and get an education and everything like that, but you would not expect something so traumatic like this to happen."

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has additional information are asked to call the Horry County Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division at (843) 915-8345, or 915-5350.

Updated 8:10pm by Bryce Mursch

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