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Alexandria City High School awards posthumous diploma to student killed in stabbing

Luis Mejia Hernandez's diploma was given to his family members during graduation ceremonies at Alexandria City High School.

FAIRFAX, Va. — Graduation ceremonies were held Saturday for the Alexandria City High School Class of 2022. 

Before students lined up for diplomas, Principal Peter Balas first awarded a posthumous diploma to 18-year-old Luis Mejia Hernandez. The crowd of students and families at the Eagle Bank Arena, located on George Mason University's campus in Fairfax, gave the student who died on May 24 a standing ovation.

Hernandez was stabbed to death during a large fight in the parking lot near the McDonald's at the Bradlee Shopping Center on King Street in Alexandria.

Two members Hernandez's family stepped up on stage to accept the diploma for him. One of the family members, a man, emotionally held the diploma high to the crowd's applause.

Alexandria City Police announced Wednesday that a 16-year-old boy had been arrested and charged for murder in Hernandez's death.  

Because the 16-year-old is a juvenile police have not released his name nor have they said what prompted the stabbing.

This year's class of seniors is the first to graduate since Alexandria City High School changed its name from T.C. Williams High School.  

WUSA9 spoke to Hernandez's father, Osmin Mejia,  in Spanish on June 1 ahead of his son's wake. The grief-stricken father was searching for answers about his son's death. He was also presented with the graduation cap Hernandez never got to wear. 

"No motive, no explanation, no explanation," Mejia said. "What caused this? Why did it happen?"

According to Mejia, Hernandez's body is being sent to El Salvador so that his biological mother can bid her son farewell one last time.

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