DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The mother of the Bronx high schooler fatally stabbed by a classmate who had endured regular bullying said her son was a caring young man who cooked her breakfast the day he died.
Louna Dennis, 33, said her son Matthew McCree, 15, was not one of the students who repeatedly bullied Abel Cedeno, 18, before the elder student snapped and plunged a knife into McCree and his 16-year-old friend during a history class at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation on Wednesday.
“I just want to make it clear that my son, Matthew McCree, wasn’t a bully. My son was loved by so many people," an emotional Dennis, flanked by family members, said during a press conference Friday.
"I’m pretty sure none of you guys can show me a bully that was loved — none of you guys can do it.”
Matthew McCree and his 4-year-old sister. (DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg)
Dennis broke down in tears about halfway through the press conference and was consoled by her mother.
She then remembered that McCree had made her breakfast the day he was killed.
"He was sweet to make breakfast for me because I was running late for work," Dennis recalled. "And I had to force myself to eat because I said he took the time out to make breakfast for me.”
She added that her son would attend school even if he was "sick with a fever" and planned to attend Fordham University and play basketball.
He also loved children and his siblings, a 4-year-old sister and 17-year-old brother, his mom said.
"Right now, the young kids... are mourning Matthew’s death," Dennis said.
The family's lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, said the school failed to install metal detectors even though "45 percent of the students felt unsafe" and that teachers should have intervened to stop the attack.
"There’s an obligation to have teachers, who when there is something happening in the classroom, take action so that terrible tragedies like this don’t occur," he said.
The family was still making funeral arrangements and had no immediate plan to file a lawsuit, Rubenstein added.
Cedeno's family said previously that he was a loving young man who endured racist and anti-gay taunts and that they had alerted the school's guidance counselor about the bullying.
The teen has been charged with murder, attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.