Guitar playing teen stabbed to death by Black female classmate outside Dunkin’ Donuts
White teen and boyfriend tormented and attacked by large pack of Black bullies
In January 2018, New York City was shocked by the violent death of a pretty, 16 year old White schoolgirl, Valeree Megan Schwab, who was relentlessly pursued, harassed and attacked by a group of Black bullies from her school for an hour before being stabbed to death by a female fellow classmate, outside a Dunkin’ Donuts in New Rochelle, half an hour of New York City.
Schwab was from a New Rochelle, a majority White city of around 77,000 people, half and hour north of New York, known for its low crime. She had lived there most her life with her parents Christopher and Karen, and siblings Brittney and Austin. The family had lost older son, Chris CJ Schwab who had died suddenly in 2003 in Florida, at the young age of 18. Valeree Schwab wrote songs on her guitar and attended concerts in the local New York area – which she enjoyed exploring on her bike. Having turned the legal driving age the previous August, she had only recently started driving and was excited to have new car.
Described as “fiery yet sensitive”, she was known amongst her friends for holding principled political stances and was a critic of Donald Trump. She made YouTube commentary videos including one where she called his presidency a ‘tyranny’. Schwab was a student at nearby New Rochelle High School, where she took advanced placement and honors classes.
At 11am, on the morning of Wednesday the 10th Jan 2018, she had been at the school campus where an argument had taken place between her and an older Black student, Carl Booker, 18. This was apparently in response to an ongoing online dispute on social media.
After the altercation, she sought to remove herself from the situation and left the school grounds with her boyfriend, L.F. They walked down nearby North Avenue to the McDonalds, at 720 North Avenue. However, Booker led a group of Black students including Dominique Slack, 18 and Z’Inah Brown, 16, that pursued them.
Carl Booker apparently came in to the McDonalds and challenged Schwab’s boyfriend L.F. to a fight. He told one of his fellow bullies to punch Schwab, but the friend declined, instead throwing water at her before leaving. Schab followed the girl out and sprayed her with pepper spray she had been carrying.
Attempting to move away from the group again, Schwab and her boyfriend walked down North Avenue further, but the Black youths continued the pursuit, shouting and taunting the pair aggressively as they tried to get away.
Schwab and her boyfriend sought refuge in Subway, 642 North Ave for about 30 minutes. During this time the pack of Black bullies hovered menacingly on the pavement and grew to as many as 11 teens, who carried on shouting at the pair demanding they came out to the pavement for a fight.
At 12:11 thinking the bullies had gone, Schwab and her boyfriend left Subway, however the bullies were waiting for them and immediately ran up punching her boyfriend twice in the back of the head. LF in an attempt to ward the group off from further blows pulled out a knife. Schwab and L.F. then retreated into another fast food outlet.
Minutes after, the two left, but were pursued by Z’Inah Brown and another teen. Dominique Slack joined them, having been requested by Booker to join the attack of Schwab. Slack punched Schwab with massive force to the side of her head, causing her to fall to the pavement and making her drop the canister of pepper spray and her key that she had been brandishing in self defense. The blow caused a subarachnoid hemorrhage – bleeding on the surface of her brain and rather than offering her help, one of the bullies grabbed her possessions from the ground and making off with them threw her key chain over fence into a parking lot. Brown, Slack and three others from the group then went into Dunkin’ Donuts at 646 North Ave.
Schwab was now alone and disorientated from her brain hemorrhage and with no house keys to allow her to escape this dangerous scenario was left with no choice but to follow the group to Dunkin’ Donuts to reclaim her property.
Her appearance there only enflamed the unruly group further. She asked them for her keys back saying she “just wanted to go home”. In a desperate attempt to locate her house keys she grabbed at Z’Inah Brown’s jacket as Brown walked to leave. Brown then turned and stabbed Schwab twice in the left side of her chest with a Steak knife, before running from the premises with the rest of the attackers. As she ran she threw the knife into a snowbank, where it was later discovered by Police.
An ambulance was called for Valeree Schwab and mortally wounded she was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. She died there from her injuries shortly after.
A memorial was placed outside the Dunkin’ Donuts where Schwab was killed. Flowers, candles and heartfelt letters addressed to the slain teen were left. On the 15th January a Funeral Mass was held for her at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a Catholic church in Pelham.
Z’Inah Brown, a Yonkers resident, turned herself in to New Rochelle police the next day and was charged with second-degree murder for the death of Valeree Megan Schwab. She was charged with felony counts of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, second-degree gang assault, and first-degree stalking, as well as misdemeanor counts of third-degree stalking and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
During her sentencing on August 2019 Brown appeared completely unmoved by the pain and suffering caused to the victims family. She declined the invitation to address the court, offering no apologies for her actions.
She listened as the victim’s sister, Britney Schwab, delivered a statement on behalf of her family with her father at her side.
“Your violent rampage stole a third sibling away from me long before it was their time.
I hope that her sudden, untimely death will never be used in a discussion as fuel for hate. I hope that, if anything, it can serve as a reminder for young people to find peaceful ways to resolve conflict and for families to hold their loved ones a little closer. I know Valaree would want us to bury hate and choose peace instead.”
After pleading guilty to manslaughter Brown was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Dominique Slack and Carl Booker and the unnamed 15 year old were identified and arrested.
Both pleaded guilty to first-degree stalking, and were both sentenced to six months in County jail and five years on probation.
During the sentencing Assistant District Attorney Laura Murphy, read a letter from Schwab’s older sister, Brittany.
“For Valaree, a sudden, senseless act of violence stole her young life, and none of us will ever understand why,” her sister said. “We never thought we would be thinking about Valaree as a memory, but today we do.”
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