16-year-old River Valley High School student charged with murder of fellow 13-year-old student

The teenager cannot be named as he is under 18.

Jane Zhang | July 20, 2021, 10:22 AM

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A 16-year-old teenager who allegedly attacked and killed another student at River Valley High School (RVHS) on Monday (Jul. 19) has been charged with murder.

Charged on Tuesday

The teenager, who cannot be named as he is under the age of 18, was charged on Tuesday (Jul. 20).

According to charge sheets seen by Mothership, the 16-year-old is charged with murdering a 13-year-old boy inside the toilet located at level 4 of Block D in RVHS between 11:16am and 11:44am on Jul. 19.

CNA reported that he appeared in court via video-link. The prosecutor had successfully asked for an order from the court for the teenager to be remanded for psychiatric assessment.

According to CNA, a police prosecutor revealed in court that the teenager had previously been a patient at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), after he attempted suicide at the age of 14.

While the penalty for murder includes death, an accused who is under 18 at the time of offence cannot be sentenced to death. Instead, he or she will be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Arrested for suspected involvement in death of 13-year-old

On Monday (Jul. 19), the 16-year-old teenager — a Secondary 4 student — was arrested for his suspected involvement in the death of a 13-year-old male Singaporean teenager, in Secondary 1.

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said that they received a call for assistance at 11:40am at RVHS, and found the victim motionless with multiple wounds at a toilet.

An SCDF paramedic subsequently pronounced the victim dead at scene.

According to preliminary investigations, the two male teenagers did not know each other.

An axe was seized as case exhibit, and investigations are being carried out to uncover the motive of the assault.

MOE working closely with SPF on investigations

In a joint statement on Monday, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and RVHS said that they are extending support to the victim's family.

"The school has also reached out to students, parents and staff to provide counselling support and the necessary assistance to ensure their well-being."

RVHS added that MOE works closely with schools to ensure campus security, but said that they are unable to comment further due to ongoing investigations.

Also on Monday, Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing said in a Facebook post that MOE is rendering "all possible support" to the families of the students concerned, as well as the students and staff at the school.

He added that MOE is working closely with the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on the investigations, and police will share more details on the case in due course.

Chan wrote:

"We are all shocked to receive news of the tragic incident at River Valley High School this morning. Our thoughts are with the families of the students concerned."

Among others to offer their condolences included radio personality Joakim Gomez and Minister for National Development Desmond Lee.

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Top photo by Ashley Tan.