MoVal Teen Dies Nine Days After Middle School Assault

MORENO VALLEY (CNS) - A 13-year-old boy who was slugged and knocked unconscious during a fight at Landmark Middle School in Moreno Valley has been declared ``clinically dead,'' authorities said today.

Riverside County sheriff's officials said the victim, identified only as Diego, was declared dead Tuesday night, but he remained on life support while his family makes arrangements to donate his organs.

``I want to extend my sincere condolences to Diego's family and friends,'' Moreno Valley Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez said. ``No one should have to endure the pain of such a terrible loss. This is a life-changing tragedy for everyone involved, including the staff and students at Landmark Middle School. We can only hope that, somehow, out of this tragedy some good can emerge. But today, we are shocked and saddened like the rest of our community.''

The assault occurred about 1 p.m. Sept. 16 outside a building on the Legendary Drive campus, according to sheriff's Sgt. William Stens.

Deputies were called to the location to investigate after the boy was taken to Riverside University Medical Center for treatment of ``significant injuries,'' Stens said.

A portion of the attack was videotaped on a student's cell phone and shows one boy taunting and moments later punching Diego in the face, causing him to bang his head on a pillar. Witnesses said he began foaming at the mouth.

Two 13-year-old Landmark students, whose identities were not disclosed because they're minors, were arrested hours afterward. Sheriff's officials said the suspects remain in custody, ``facing prosecution for this assault.''

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