Moreno Valley student, 13, dies from injuries sustained during fight at middle school

A Moreno Valley middle school student was declared brain dead on Tuesday from injuries sustained during a fight at school, while two other students remained in juvenile hall for their involvement in the fight. 

Riverside County Sheriff's Department said 13-year-old Diego, whose last name hasn't been released, was pronounced clinically dead despite "rigorous medical intervention and treatment efforts."

"Preparations by Diego’s family are underway for organ donation to transform this tragedy into the gift of life for other children," the sheriff's department said.


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The fight took place at Landmark Middle School on September 16. Video of the fight that was shared on social media showed one teenager punch Diego before another student punched him again. Diego’s head hit a concrete pillar as he fell to the ground. The first teen punched him a third time before running away.

The two students involved in the attack were arrested on September 16. Both remain in the custody of Riverside County Juvenile Hall, facing prosecution for the assault. Their names have not been released because they are minors.

The Moreno Valley Unified School District will be providing additional counselors and support personnel at Landmark Middle School to help any MVUSD student, employee, or family "cope with the grief that will spread throughout the community," public information officer Anahi Velasco said. 

"As we mourn together, we also want to come together to find solutions and to take the necessary steps so that tragic incidents like this do not happen again," Velasco added.

The school district said that in light of Diego's death, they decided to postpone the community meeting scheduled for Thursday evening, and instead hold a remembrance ceremony for Diego at Landmark Middle School from 6 to 8 p.m.

Anyone with further information regarding this incident is asked to contact Investigator Joshua Manjarrez at 951-955-2777, assigned to the Central Homicide Unit or Investigator John Tometich at 951-486-6700, assigned to the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station Investigation Bureau.