A 16-year-old Delaware high school sophomore died Thursday morning after a fight broke out in a restroom involving several female students.
Family members identified the victim as Amy Francis-Joyner. She had gotten involved in a confrontation involving two other students at Wilmington's Howard High School of Technology, spokeswoman Kathy K. Demarest said in a statement. She said no weapons were involved and police were questioning other students.
Francis-Joyner was pronounced dead at A.I. DuPont Children's Hospital, where she had been airlifted in critical condition, police spokeswoman Sgt. Andrea Janvier said.
"I think this is a dream and I'm trying to wake up," the girl's father, Sonny Francis, told Fox 29 Philadelphia. "All I know is my daughter is gone. She was the love of my life and it hurts."
Student Kayla Wilson said she was in a stall in the girl's restroom when the fight broke out.
"She was fighting a girl, and then that's when all these other girls started banking her — like jumping her — and she hit her head on the sink," Philadelphia TV station WPVI quoted Wilson as saying about the victim.
Officers were first called to the school about 8:15 a.m. as students were arriving for the day, Demarest said.
Police Chief Bobby Cummings said Howard isn't known as a violent school, and he did not know of any other problems in recent days.
Investigators have not revealed any details about a possible motive. Francis told Fox 29 that his daughter have no sign she was having problems at the school.
"I thought schools were a safe place," Francis said. "You drop your kids off and they would come home after school. Aapparently that's not the case with some schools now. Children are just out of control."
"My heart bleeds for the family," Mayor Dennis Williams told a news conference.
State agencies will help provide support for those affected by the tragedy, Gov. Jack Markell said in a statement.
Wilmington City Councilwoman Sherry Dorsey Walker said she has known the victim and her family for quite some time and had been asked by the family to speak on their behalf.
The family is asking for calm and prayers in the community, she said, not retaliation.
"They're just asking people to ... be calm and pray for them," she said.
Dorsey Walker described the victim as "a wonderful human being."
"Her loss is a big void, not just in the family," she said.
Demarest said students were kept in their classrooms after the fight, and school was dismissed at 10:15 a.m. The school has canceled Friday classes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.