NEWARK -- As students returned to classes Monday at Newark Memorial High School, mourning the weekend stabbing death of senior football star Osana Futi, authorities announced they had made an arrest in the case.
Abraham Hade, 18, of Fremont, was arrested late Sunday in connection with Futi's death, and three male juveniles were arrested on suspicion of being accessories to the crime, Fremont police Sgt. Jeff Campbell said.
Futi, a Newark Memorial High running back and linebacker, was rushed to a hospital after being found with stab wounds near Hyde Park and Yellowstone Park drives in Fremont about 11:20 p.m. Saturday, according to police and Newark Memorial Athletic Director Rich Swift.
Futi, 18, would have been picking up his graduation cap and gown Monday.
About 25 students gathered silently at a memorial a few blocks from the school, at the site where Futi's friend Justice Afoa was stabbed to death in December 2010.
"He was excited to graduate," said Filo Garcia, another Newark high senior and a friend of Futi's. "He was excited to see his mom after six or seven years."
She was planning to fly from their native Samoa to attend his graduation, Garcia said.
Futi was pronounced dead at 1:20 a.m. Sunday at the hospital.
Crisis counselors were at the school Monday, where freshmen, sophomores and juniors were starting state STAR testing, said Principal Edward Marquez.
Futi, though, was set to graduate, Marquez said.
"He was excited," Marquez said. "He was getting ready to go to Disneyland for grad night (later in the month)."
Haley Franklin, another Newark high senior who had known Futi since his arrival in this country in elementary school, said she would remember him for his smile.
"If anyone deserves to graduate, it's him," Franklin said.
When a reporter approached one man at the vigil, he shook his head and walked away. A moment later, another friend approached him. They embraced -- and wept.
Futi was named the Rob Johnson Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 in the Mission Valley Athletic League and was a two-time all-league first-teamer as linebacker. Futi was also on the Bay Area News Group's All-East Bay team.
Futi's life had seen tragedy and turbulence in recent years. He was expelled from Newark Memorial in March 2011, just four months after the slaying of Afoa. The Newark Unified trustees voted to kick Futi out of school on allegations he'd threatened the life of a student who had mocked the death of 17-year-old Afoa.
However, Futi's expulsion was later rescinded and he returned to Newark Memorial, said trustee Charlie Mensinger, who said he could not elaborate due to privacy policies.
Contact Paul Thissen at 925-847-2122.