(SOURCE) Kellye Taylor is now being mourned by friends and colleagues. She was watching students play when the father of her grandchildren Steven Brown accosted and killed her, cops allege. While motives are yet to be announced, one local teen said, ‘I heard this was over custody. Well, he sure ain’t going to get custody now.’
An elementary school teacher was fatally stabbed in the throat in front of her students at recess Friday, police and witnesses said.
Steven Brown, 50, of Long Beach, Calif., who is father to the victim’s grandchildren, was arrested for the grisly murder later that day. A knife was recovered between the murder scene and the shopping center where Brown was apprehended, police said.
Kellye Taylor, 53, was watching 24 students play at Orizaba Park across from Huntington Academy when Brown allegedly sneaked up behind her with a blade about 1:30 p.m. Some students ran back to the school to tell adults about the assault.
Long Beach police talk with bystanders near the scene where teacher Kellye Taylor, 53, was fatally stabbed. Stephen Carr/The Daily Breeze/AP
“How could they do something like this in front of these babies,” said Taylor’s sister, Pamela Huffman, to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Huffman, who also works at the school, said she rushed to her sister’s side and watched her slip away.
A member of the Long Beach forensics department document the crime scene where Taylor died while watching her students play at a park in Long Beach, Calif. Stephen Carr/The Daily Breeze/AP
Carrie Bryant, Taylor and Huffman’s mother, is the director of the Huntington Academy, which serves close to 30 students from kindergarten to the sixth grade.
“You never expect something like this to happen,” Bryant said. “Who would’ve thought we would be here dealing with the death of my child? When you lose your child, you really lost something.”
Nearly 100 people – friends, family members, former students and police – attended a memorial service for Taylor in the park Saturday. Flowers, candles and balloons were placed on the park bench where she was sitting during the attack, reported the Press-Telegram.
Long Beach detectives and forensics team investigate the crime scene where teacher Kellye Taylor died.
Stephen Carr/The Daily Breeze/AP
The Long Beach newspaper said tears welled up in Huffman’s eyes as she told the crowd, “This is where my sister died.” A group of teens stopped playing in the park and respectfully listened to the service.
Afterward, one teen said, “I heard this was over custody. Well, he sure ain’t going to get custody now.”
The school will be closed until Thursday to give the students and faculty time to heal, said Huffman.