Family of teen fatally stabbed at St. Paul high school discusses loss, curbing teen violence trend

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The family of the teenager fatally stabbed at Harding High School in St. Paul on Friday sat down in 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Wednesday in their first interview since receiving that dreaded news.

“We called him ‘Cheese,'” Anthony Scott began, referring to his late nephew, 15-year-old Devin Scott.

“My sister’s sons is ‘Cookies’ and ‘Cheese.’ They’re inseparable. So that was what my mom called them two,” he added. “It was like you can’t get one without the other.”

Scott described Devin as a smart kid who was very athletic. He said his nephew hadn’t found his way before losing his life.

“There’s not much that I can say about my nephew, because he didn’t get really opportunity to blossom,” Scott continued. “So what I can say is Cheese was trying to become a better Devin.”

Nosakhere Holmes, 16, was charged with second degree murder Tuesday for allegedly stabbing Devin Scott in the hallway of Harding High School. The Ramsey County juvenile petition says it started as a two-on-one fist fight between Scott, another student and Holmes.

“I’d like to discuss him,” Anthony Scott interjected when the charge came up during the interview. “That was a child too.”

“There’s something going on in our society where our children are fearful, where they’re taking weapons to school. It’s not the park, it’s not outside, it’s to school,” he continued. “So they’re not safe at school. They’re not safe in their own communities.”

In an interview Tuesday night, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the fight between Scott, the other student and Holmes traces back several months to a dispute between two separate groups of kids and is tied to another murder case.

“This incident, that Devin Scott was killed in, he would not have been killed if a police officer was present to intervene rather than school staff,” Sheriff Fletcher added.

“I’m familiar with Bob Fletcher because he’s been working closely with my sister and my nephews, especially Devin, and I agree with him, we need some sort of resources,” Anthony Scott said when asked what he thought about the sheriff’s statement.

Beyond stopping emergencies, intervention has to come from people who have been in these kids’ shoes, Scott said.

“The kid is not going to identify with a pastor, these kids are not going to identify with a policeman. They’re not going to identify with a therapist. They identify with people that say, ‘I used to do that.’ And, ‘This is what I went through, I lost either my child because of it, or this is how much time I had to go to prison.'”

“Fletcher is actually doing these things because a lot of people that work with him come from that background,” he continued. “But we need them in schools.”

Scott said he is hoping to be a part of the discussion of security and curbing violence in St. Paul schools going forward.

“We’re not blaming the superintendent. We appreciate their concern. We appreciate everyone’s concerns and well wishes. But I’m able to talk because it wasn’t my son right now. And I say ‘right now’ because I don’t know if it ever will happen to my son,” Scott said.