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Cops Hunt Suspect Who Fatally Stabbed High School Student

By  Trevor Kapp Joe Parziale and Dan Rivoli | September 21, 2012 11:19am | Updated on September 21, 2012 12:05pm

HELL'S KITCHEN — Cops Friday continued the search for the person who fatally stabbed a 19-year-old student outside his Hell’s Kitchen high school during a street brawl.

Theodore Beckles, who attended Independence High School, got into an argument Thursday afternoon with a student from the High School for Environmental Studies near the building where the schools are housed at 444 W. 56th St., police and Department of Education officials said.

Police sources said the fight started over a girl and quickly erupted into a melee when a group of friends of the Environmental Studies student joined. One of the Environmental Studies students stabbed Beckles in the chest with a knife, police and DOE officials have said.

Beckles, who lived in the Bronx, was taken to New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he died, officials said.

"He was a good person," said Craig Jackson, 25, Beckles' roommate. "He never came off rude to me."

Beckles had three prior arrests, including an August 15 arrest for evading the subway fare at a Bronx station, according to a criminal complaint against him. He was due in court on Oct. 4.

But Jackson said Beckles, who loved playing basketball and playing video games, had potential to do big things.

"Every time I spoke to him, it was always something positive," Jackson said.

The NYPD has not released a description of the suspect, but said the victim, Theodore Beckles, knew his attacker.

Cops have been questioning people, but no one had been formally arrested as of Friday morning.

A makeshift memorial was set up where Beckles was stabbed. On Friday, several students wept and bowed their heads at the site, where glowing candles burned below a cardboard poster that read "RIP Teddy."

"It's sad," Jackson said. "You can't take life for granted, but I'm sure he's in a better place. I just wish the best for his family."