Three Hollywood Area Teens Overdose on Fentanyl, One Fatally

The tainted pills the teens purchased are believed to have come from one dealer in nearby Lexington Park

One teen is dead and two more have been hospitalized after they apparently overdosed on pills police believe contained fentanyl.

According to police, two 15-year-old girls who attend Bernstein High School took the pills Tuesday, with one student dying while her friend is in the hospital and expected to make a full recovery. That same night, a 17-year-old boy from Hollywood High School was discovered showing signs of an overdose. All the students purchased the pills at nearby Lexington Park, where authorities believe they were victims of the same dealer selling to students.

When the two girls didn’t come home from school Tuesday night, Fox LA reports, their parents became worried and reported them missing. The stepfather of one girl drove around looking for her, returning again and again to her school. He found her collapsed in a courtyard, confused and having difficulty speaking. She was able to tell him she had taken half of a pill she bought at the park.

“She was very ill. She had been the victim of an overdose. She was able to communicate with him and was able to let him know that her friend was in the women’s restroom,” said Lt. John Radke with the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Bureau Homicide Unit.

In the restroom, the other 15-year-old student was unresponsive. Despite efforts from paramedics, she was declared dead by Los Angeles Fire Department.

The two 15-year-olds had intended to buy Percocet, police said.

“They both ingested a pill and started feeling ill almost immediately,” Lt. Roadie said. “It’s very common for drug dealers to put fentanyl in almost all pills and many other drugs. Fentanyl is a poison and it’s very dangerous to everyone.”

LAPD detectives also discovered on Tuesday night that there were at least two other victims of drug overdoses that may be connected to the same Lexington Park drug dealer. Although the Hollywood High School student was taken to the hospital from a different location than the Bernstein students, they all reportedly purchased drugs at the park. Additionally, police were aware of another teenage victim in the area exhibiting signs of an overdose. LAFD paramedics administered Narcan to the fourth victim, who did not need to be hospitalized.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says the three victims from Tuesday night make up six cases of drug-related incidents coming from drugs bought at Lexington Park in the past few weeks, and issued a warning to the dealer who’s been selling drugs to high schoolers.

“For the individual, who, for a number of weeks, has been spreading pain, destruction and now death—rest assured, we’re going to use the full weight and muscle of this school system, the full weight of this city’s law enforcement entity, and the DEA to know who you are, who the people behind you are, and we shall bring justice to the grieving parents,” Carvalho said.

“We need to do everything we can to get the word out to everyone: ‘Don’t take drugs from anyone.’ Don’t even take an aspirin. You don’t know what’s in it,” Lt. Radke added.

On Wednesday morning, LAUSD officials released the following statement:

“Last evening, Los Angeles Unified became aware that a student passed away on the Helen Bernstein High School campus. Another student was transported with their parent to a local hospital. We are working with the Los Angeles Police Department, and at this point and due to confidentiality issues, we have no further information to share… As we work together with LAPD to uncover the details of this tragic situation, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of both students. We also thank everyone for their understanding and support today and we will share more information as it becomes available.”

The investigation is ongoing.

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