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Teen Boy Dies After Being Sucker-Punched at Middle School

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On Tuesday evening, a 13-year-old boy – identified only as Diego – died from injuries sustained during a brutal assault that was caught on camera. Diego was attacked by two other boys while on a middle school campus. He was transported to the hospital, but the “rigorous medical intervention and treatment efforts at an area hospital were unsuccessful.”

The assault took place at Landmark Middle School in Moreno Valley, California, at approximately 1:10 pm on September 16, according to a report by KTLA. Cell phone video that made its way onto social media showed Diego being struck in the face by another boy. Then, a second boy sucker-punched Diego, landing a blow on the side of his head.

After the second punch, Diego fell, hitting his head against a pillar. The first boy then rushes over and starts punching Diego again while he was down.

Diego was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. However, after more than a week, he “was pronounced clinically dead [Tuesday] night as a result of injuries sustained in the attack,” according to officials.

Classmates of Diego said that he had been targeted by bullies, including on social media. Students also said that violence was an issue at the school.

After the attack, parents gathered for a Moreno Valley Unified School District meeting to express their anger regarding how bullying cases were being handled.

“Kids are being bullied, and they’re not doing anything,” said Karla Palumbo, a parent. “We’ve asked them to change the policies, the rules, a little bit more stricter, but that hasn’t happened.”

Two boys, both 13 years old, were arrested after being connected to the assault. The pair face charges of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. It isn’t clear whether those charges may change due to Diego’s passing.

Mourners gathered outside of Diego’s school after news of his death spread, mainly to show support for his family.

“Preparations by Diego’s family are underway for organ donation to transform this tragedy into the gift of life for other children,” said a news release after Diego’s passing.