NEW YORK — A high school football star was stabbed and later died just hours after his graduation Tuesday in a fight with Bronx parking attendants over whether something was stolen from his family’s car during the ceremony, police said.
Isayah Muller, 19, a star running back who led his team to the Public Schools Athletic League championship, was rushed to a nearby clinic by his family and girlfriend and was later pronounced dead, said Paul Browne, the New York Police Department’s chief spokesman. No arrests have been made but the parking attendants and Muller’s father, Andre, were speaking to officers from the 52 Precinct in the Bronx early Wednesday, Browne said.
The family arrived at the lot on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx at about 9 a.m. and walked over to the campus of Lehman College, where graduation was being held Tuesday for students from Harry S. Truman High School. Following the ceremony, the family headed back to the car, Browne said.
An argument erupted initially between Muller’s father and parking attendants, whom he accused of stealing something from his auto, Browne said. The father noticed the property missing from the car while the family was en route to a celebratory meal Tuesday afternoon on City Island, a fishing hamlet on the northern tip of the Bronx.
Angry over the missing property, Andre Muller turned the car around and headed back to the parking lot, Browne said. The fight broke out and Isayah Muller was stabbed in the chest, though it’s not clear by whom. The father and son ran to the family car where his mother and girlfriend were waiting and they drove him to the clinic. Muller was later transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly before 6 p.m., Browne said.
It’s not clear how many attendants were involved in the incident, or who delivered the fatal blow. There was no answer at the garage early Wednesday.
Muller was headed to Nassau Community College in Garden City, Long Island, in the fall, according to his Facebook page. His Facebook profile showed him to be a popular guy who was hardworking and enjoyed sports.
He was a star running back. He rushed for 285 yards during the high school championship game in November, winning 23-20 over the top-seeded Beach Channel. His performance was the talk of newspapers and television alike. He was revered by his teammates.
“Isayah Muller is the type of player who steps up when the game is on the line,” Truman coach John-James Shepherd told the Daily News of New York after the winning Nov. 28 game. “The more pressure he has, the more comfortable he is.”
Team quarterback Xavier Hamilton told newspapers and blogs that Muller was the team’s go-to guy.
“To him, there’s no such thing as pressure,” Hamilton told ESPN’s high school report. “You put the ball his hands and it’s like he’s in a zone. You look in his eyes and there’s no reflection. He just gets the ball and does what he has to do.”
Muller ran the last five plays of the November game. According to ESPN, “He not only carried the ball, but also his entire team.”
“I really wasn’t tired,” Muller told ESPN. “This is my last game of my high school career. I didn’t want to take one step off that field. I’m still not tired. I could play the whole game all over again.”