THE BRONX — The stepfather of the 15-year-old boy stabbed to death by a classmate inside their school insisted Thursday his stepson was no bully — and ripped the school for not protecting its students.
Matthew McCree was killed and a 16-year-boy seriously injured when Abel Cedeno, 18, stabbed them during history class at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in West Farms Wednesday around 10:45 a.m., police and prosecutors said.
McCree and the other boy had been tossing pencils at Cedeno, who was regularly harassed by other students at the school, police said Thursday. The deadly clash was the first altercation between the three, police added.
McCree's stepfather, Kyle Victor, said that behavior was totally out of character of the boy.
"He was very loving," Victor, 34, told reporters outside their home Thursday. "The 3-year-old kids, the 4-year-old kids would knock on the door, and he would gladly put on his sneakers and go play with them."
Friends described Cedeno as a flamboyant teen who was often picked on by his peers.
"He usually gets bullied a lot," friend Asia Jones, 18, said. "He's nice. He's sensitive. He has a good heart. He likes Nicki Minaj. He'd wear stuff from H&M. He likes Kylie Jenner."
Victor said the Department of Education let his son down, partly because it doesn't use metal detectors to screen students.
"Look at this area. It's very violent," he said.
Victor insisted his son wasn't one of Cedeno's tormentors.
"They're trying to make it seem like he didn't like gay people. That's wrong, too," he said.
"Every child has their little ways. A 15-year-old [has] emotions and hormones running around, but he was in no way bad."