A Washington, D.C. high school student has passed away three weeks after being attacked in the classroom.
Joevon Patterson-Smith, a 17-year-old special needs student at Ballou High School, was approached by three assailants and struck several times in the face and body after refusing to let them use his cellphone. The attack is under investigation.
According to WUSA9, Joevon told police that the assailants sprayed him with “perfume” during the attack. The teen was released from the hospital following the attack, but readmitted after suffering seizures.
Paul Penniman, a tutor at Ballou, told NBC Washington that students are “numb” following news of Joevon’s death.
“I think the kids are, in a certain way, numb already,” he said. “I’ve worked at schools where there have been deaths before, and it’s almost like it’s another day for them, because they have so many peers who die for various reasons.”
Joevon, who ran track, was set to graduate this year. His parents confirmed that he was special needs and often bullied.
It’s unclear if Joevon passed away as a result of the attack. Police are awaiting autopsy results.