Parents of Conn. Teen Killed at House Party Call for Time of Peace, Unity

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The parents of a Shelton teen who died after being stabbed at a house party last month said they are overwhelmed by the support they have received, called for peace after the death of their son and asked that no one take matters into their own hands.

James “Jimmy” McGrath, a 17-year-old Fairfield Prep student, was stabbed during a fight outside a home on Laurel Glen Drive in Shelton on May 14 and later died at the hospital, according to police.

A teen suspected in the fatal stabbing was arrested on May 18 and has been charged as an adult.

Raul Valle, 16, of Milford, was charged with murder and first-degree assault. He was held on $2 million bond and released from custody.

McGrath’s parents, Margaret and Kevin McGrath, and an attorney held a news conference in Bridgeport Friday and Kevin McGrath called on the community to let the criminal justice system do its job.

Jimmy, a junior who played on the Fairfield Prep lacrosse team, was a unifier who touched a lot of lives, Kevin McGrath said, and the family appreciates the compassion and understands that people are angry, but asked that no one act out in anger.

Kevin McGrath said there have been some isolated incidents in which emotions got the better of people and he called for people not to get themselves into trouble. “We've heard of three isolated incidents, very small,” he said. “The authorities are in charge of the investigation, kind of let them do their job.”

Before publicly identifying Valle, police said McGrath and the suspect knew each other and attended rival schools.

Valle is a student at  St. Joseph's High School in Trumbull, according to police.

Kevin McGrath said the suspect does not represent the St. Joseph's school community.

Court documents reveal information that led to the arrest.

Several witnesses told police Valle and another teen fought students on the front lawn and several people were involved in the fight.

One witness told police Valle and another person he was with began to walk back to their car when Valle turned and stabbed McGrath in the stomach, according to the arrest affidavit.

Kevin McGrath said he received the call that night that every parent dreads. His son was badly injured and he had to come right away.

He arrived to find police, EMTs and ambulances as well as a family friend and a neighbor who is a nurse trying to save Jimmy's life.

“Although Jimmy’s passed, what our family has experienced is nothing short of a miracle,” Kevin McGrath said.

He said the family is getting strength from the community.

“You are helping us navigate through an unbearable time in our lives,” he said.

Three other people were also stabbed and were treated at the hospital and have been released, police said.

Valle is scheduled to appear in Milford Superior Court on June 15.

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