I've noticed the very same thing hateraid.
Back in the day, when things got violent it would end in a fist fight. Back when I was in HS (2 years ago) there would be fights all the time, but rarely would someone get seriously injured.
After I graduated, and even towards the end of my senior year, people started getting really injured. There were a ton of stabbings and threats of guns, gangs, etc... It seems like it's on a new level now. Instead of settling things with fists, things seem to end when someone from one group is stabbed or curb stomped. It's really getting out of hand.
Anyway, my prayers go out to all those involved in this tragic event. Your friend passed before his time. Always sucks to see a tragedy take someone trying to help out a friend, especially a fellow hoops fanatic.