An 18-year-old woman was stabbed to death in a school parking lot as students were arriving for class Thursday, police said.

Students and school employees saw the attack shortly before 8 a.m. in a lot shared by Carolina Forest Middle School and Carolina Forest High School, Horry County police said in a news release. Police arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with the attack shortly afterward.

The victim's name was not released, and authorities would not say whether she was a student at the high school.

Edwin Lee Cornelius of Aynor was arrested after the stabbing and charges were pending, police said.

Both schools were locked down, though classes remained in session.

One parent, Nadine Civitella, 40, said she decided to leave her two children at the schools after a principal told her "it was a domestic situation."

Sixth-grader Chizo Ekechukwu said she was outside and saw the body before her father came to get her.

"People were crying and freaking out. A lot were going home," she said.

Calls to the school rang unanswered Thursday. An administrative assistant at the Horry County school district referred all questions to police, who did not immediately return phone calls.

The woman died at Conway Medical Center, Horry County Deputy Coroner Dan Bellamy told WBTW-TV of Florence. Conway is about 15 miles from Myrtle Beach.