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Stansbury High student stabbed to death in overnight fight

Published: Saturday, April 26 2014 10:35 a.m. MDT

Jesse Horowitz, right, with his father Matthew. Jesse, 17, was stabbed to death early Saturday during a fight in Stansbury Park. He was a senior at Stansbury High School.

Family photo

STANSBURY PARK, Tooele County — A Stansbury High School senior was stabbed to death during an overnight fight Saturday outside an elementary school.

Two small groups gathered at Stansbury Elementary, 485 Country Club in Stansbury Park, just before midnight Friday to watch two people fight. "After the initial fight had finished, two other guys started lipping at each other," said Tooele County Sheriff Frank Park.

The two began fighting and it escalated when one man pulled out a knife and stabbed Jesse Horowitz, 17, about seven to nine times, Park said.

"It just went from calling each other names to a fight," he said, "ruining two people's lives."

The fight was not gang-related, but was a gathering of two different groups of friends who were there to watch a fight, the sheriff said.

Law enforcement officers from three different police agencies were called about 12:10 a.m. Park said officers arrived quickly to the scene, but the teen was so badly injured that there was little they could do. Horowitz was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators from the sheriff's office, Tooele police and the Utah Highway Patrol sealed off the area at the school and began looking for the suspected stabber who had reportedly fled to a home in Stansbury Park. About 5:30 a.m., officers served a search warrant at a home there.

“We were able to move pretty quick," Park said. "We went in with a knock and go warrant with a SWAT team, not knowing what we had there.”

Two people were arrested inside the home without incident.

Larry Beach, 20, from San Antonio, Texas, was booked into the Tooele County Jail for investigation of murder. Roy Coffey, 19, of Stansbury Park, was booked into jail for investigation of being an accessory to murder and obstruction of justice. Coffey lived in the home where the arrests occurred.

The sheriff said Coffey had been involved in some kind of altercation about a week ago, but it was not too serious.

Darcy Horowitz found a little comfort Saturday wearing her slain son's sweatshirt.

"I've been having a hard time," she said. "He was supposed to graduate next month."

She didn't even know her son had gone out last night until deputies knocked on her door about 2:30 a.m. to inform her about the boy's death.

"It's indescribable. It's not real," said Easton Patch, who had accompanied his friend Jesse Friday night to watch the fight.

"We went to watch and make sure nothing bad happened," he said. "I didn't think that something that violent was going to happen."

Investigators had not yet recovered the knife Saturday evening, but Park said they had an idea where it was.

Friends said Coffey is a former student at Stansbury High and had recently moved to Texas but they don't know Beach, who is from San Antonio.

"I just hope they realize they did something they can't take back and that they made a really bad decision," said Riley Deavila.

Friends of Jesse Horowitz said he always looked out for his friends, and that's what he was doing when he lost his life.

"It doesn't get better than Jesse Horowitz, it doesn't," Deavila said.

The high school senior played football at Stansbury and friends say he planned to attend Dixie State College in the fall. Instead, his family is now planning a funeral.

"This fighting has got to stop — please," Darcy Horowitz said.

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