Mount Pleasant — A woman comforted 17-year-old Lucas Bennett Cavanaugh as he struggled to breathe in the street where he had been stabbed last weekend.
Robynn Davis learned of the gruesome scene outside her home when Cavanaugh’s alleged assailant, a 16-year-old schoolmate who was visiting her daughter that night, came inside with a bloody knife.
She picked up the weapon and emerged to the sight of one of her daughter’s best friends whom she “loved and adored,” she said, as took his last breaths.
Even after a police officer pointed a rifle at her because of the knife in her hand, Davis kept trying to help Cavanaugh.
“Stay with me, baby,” she told him in words that were captured in her 911 call. “Stay with me, darling. ... Just hold on, please.”
Her account of Cavanaugh’s final moments, as well as the 911 call and an incident report released Tuesday, portrayed the tense ordeal that played out Sunday night after the rare violent crime on Baltusrol Lane in the Park West subdivision’s The Gates neighborhood.
The town’s first homicide of the year sent ripples through Wando High School, which Cavanaugh and his alleged killer, Matthew Joseph Fischer of Old Jay Lane in the nearby Dunes West community, had attended. Their classmates sought out counselors there two days later.
“I’ve reached out to his mom to let her know that he was not alone when he passed,” Davis said Tuesday.
“He meant the world to me. The world was a better place with him in it.”
Fischer, a junior at Wando, faces charges of murder and possession of a knife during a violent crime.
Because he is alleged to have committed a violent crime, Fischer was immediately charged as an adult and publicly identified. If he were a year younger, adult charges would have taken a court order.
At the high school Tuesday, several of its 3,860 students met with the additional grief counselors who were on hand in response to the tragedy, Principal Lucy Beckham said.
Michael Bobby, the Charleston County School District’s acting superintendent, extended “heartfelt condolences” to Cavanaugh’s family, he added in a statement.
“This most unfortunate incident will have a lasting impact on the families involved, the Wando High School family and the CCSD family,” Bobby said. “We stand ready to support the students, faculty and administration at Wando during this very difficult time.”
How well Cavanaugh and Fischer knew each other before Sunday was unclear.
But the dispute between them ignited earlier Sunday evening with social media messages between the teenagers and Fischer’s girlfriend, according to the Mount Pleasant Police Department.
Detectives said that Fischer was visiting his girlfriend’s Baltusrol Lane home when Cavanaugh contacted her on her Apple iPod through the messaging application Snapchat.
Fischer got involved and sent messages to Cavanaugh that said “come over” and “I’ll kill you, man,” the police later wrote in an arrest affidavit.
Cavanaugh went to the home and got into a fight with Fischer, who later told investigators that he pulled out a knife and stabbed the fellow student, the court document stated.
The only 911 call dispatchers got about the stabbing came from Davis.
“Please, Lucas. Please make it,” she said told a dispatcher. “I can’t believe this is happening.”
Davis thought that Fischer was still in her house with her daughter, but the police later said that he had left.
“I’ve got to go get Matt out of my house,” she said during the call.
The first police officer who responded around 7 p.m. to Davis’ call found her and another female sitting next to Cavanaugh in the middle of the street.
Davis ran after the policeman and screamed, “Here is the knife,” the officer’s report stated. She dropped the weapon when the officer pointed his gun at her, defusing the situation.
The officer patched a severe gash in Cavanaugh’s abdomen. Cavanaugh still had a heartbeat at the time.
A firefighter later informed the officer that Fischer’s mother had returned to the scene with the suspect in her car.
The police ordered him from the vehicle at gunpoint, they said.
Fischer later told detectives during a videotaped interview that he had stabbed Cavanaugh, the police wrote in the affidavit.
Davis cried and struggled to offer a brief account of the episode that had “horribly saddened” her and her family.
“He was one of the most amazing teenage boys I’ve known in my life,” she said. “He was perfect. He was an angel.”
Amanda Kerr contributed to this report. Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.