A 13-year-old boy who was hospitalized after being violently assaulted by two other students at Landmark Middle School in Moreno Valley, has died.
All three boys are minors and have not been identified. However, officials at the school have referred to the victim as Diego.
The brutal attack was caught on a video posted to social media. In the video, one of the alleged bullies appears to be talking with Diego before sucker punching him in the face. It looks like a second person then hits Diego, knocking him headfirst into a concrete pillar. Then the first boy returns and punches Diego while he’s lying on the ground.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The Diego Landmark Middle School fight video posted below is violent and may disturb some people. Read the full bullying report here.]
Diego was pronounced clinically dead Tuesday night as a result of the injuries. The announcement was posted on the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Facebook page. It says, in part:
Rigorous medical intervention and treatment efforts at an area hospital were unsuccessful. 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 joins the community in mourning the loss of this young man. The two suspects previously arrested for the assault which led to Diego’s death remain in the custody of Riverside County Juvenile Hall, facing prosecution for this assault. Due to the age of the involved parties, no further details regarding this incident will be publicly released at this time.
A vigil was held Wednesday night at Landmark Middle School. However, things took a violent turn when Moreno Valley Unified Superintendent, Dr. Martinrex Kedziora, arrived.
“We’re here tonight to work with the community to support them,” Kedziora said to the crowd.
A woman from the crowd shouted, “We are the community and you’re not working with us.”
Deputies soon escorted Kedziora behind the school’s locked doors, concerned that something more violent might result.
According to parents, this was only the latest in a string of bullying incidents involving Diego. However, it is unclear if the school was aware of any bullying, or if they were aware but did not do anything about it.
That said, Landmark Middle School is no stranger to on-campus violence. According to the Los Angeles Times, sheriff’s deputies have been called to the school six times since August 2018 for reports of battery. The largest incident took place on March 19, when deputies actually had to fire pepper balls into a crowd of 50 students who were brawling.
The school will provide additional counselors to help students and the community. But Parents have filed a petition with the school district and plan to state their case Thursday evening in front of Diego’s memorial.
“We are here for Diego,” one girl said through tears, according to CBS. “Diego lost his life today. Diego’s not here no more.”
“I just hope that all this teaches a lesson to the school district because it’s the one who needs to do something about this,” said one parent.