Texas Teacher Stabbed to Death by Student in Classroom

Todd Henry, 50, worked as a music therapist in Texas public school.

Sept. 23, 2009— -- A Texas teacher who helped children with special needs by playing them the guitar was stabbed to death by a juvenile student at a high school in Tyler on Wednesday morning, authorities said.

Todd Henry, 50, was stabbed in the neck and shoulders in a classroom at John Tyler High School a little before 9 a.m. CDT, according to police.

The attacker, who is in custody, has not yet been identified. Police haven't said whether the suspect was a special-needs student or what led up to the attack.

Henry was in the classroom with a paraprofessional and three students, one of whom is the alleged killer, said Randy Reed, superintendent of the Tyler Independent School District.

Following the incident, Henry was rushed to a local hospital. The school was placed on lockdown and the student was taken in to custody by school district police.

Reed said the attack was "not gang related or racially motivated. All reports suggest this was a random act by a single student."

Henry, a father and a grandfather, was an "accomplished and respected guitarist" who worked as a music therapist with special-needs students at the school, his brother Jody Henry told the Associated Press.

Classes were cancelled at 10:45 a.m., when many parents arrived to pick up students from the building.

Local police are cooperating with the school district's own police force, Don Martin, spokesman for the Tyler Police Department told ABC News.com.

The accused student "has been taken to Smith County Detention Center, a juvenile facility," Martin said.

The local Tyler Morning Telegraph reported the police scanner chatter "indicated that a fight escalated to the point that [school district] police had to call for backup from Tyler Police."

Locals in Tyler were reeling from the shock, some of them seeking solace in New Life Community Church across the street from the high school.

"He was a very good friend of mine and we all loved him very much. Him and his family are in my prayers, as well as the student and the student's family that was involved in the altercation," Tiffany Channon told ABC News affiliate KLTV.

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