LONG BEACH (CBS/AP) — An 11-year-old girl died following an after school fight at a Long Beach elementary school, but authorities say they have no immediate plans for arrests.

Police said Saturday night that the girl, identified by friends as Joanna Ramos, died at a hospital hours after the fight with another 11-year-old girl outside Willard Elementary.

Authorities were stressing the unusual nature of the tragedy and are urging caution about linking the fight to the girl’s death pending a coroner’s report on the cause of death.

“I think it’s safe to say this is definitely an isolated incident,” police spokeswoman Nancy Pratt said. “I personally don’t hear of 11-year-old fights like this, especially girls. I can’t say they never happen but I think everyone was completely caught off-guard by this event.”

Friday’s fight at Willard Elementary didn’t appear to be especially serious or violent, no weapons were used and neither girl was knocked to the ground, police said. They could not say what prompted the fight but friends had their suspicions.

“They were fighting over a boy,” said Stephanie Guadalupe, a friend of Joanna. “I told the teacher and she said she would talk to all the girls on Monday.”

The Press Telegram reported the fight was pre-planned. Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Chris Steinhauser told the newspaper there was no indication that adults at the school, attended by about 800 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, was aware of it or notified about it beforehand.

The students involved in the altercation left an after-school program and went to an alley near the school to fight. Some students said bullying had been a problem at the school but authorities said in a press conference Saturday that the victim was not bullied.

One Ramos friend, Maggie Martinez, said she broke up the fight. “She did not hit her head. The other girl just punched her in the face. She started bleeding from the nose.”

Adults later noticed Joanna wasn’t feeling well and drove her to a local emergency room.

Martinez got a frantic call from the girl’s mother and told her she died three times in the car on the way to the hospital but her mother was able to revive her. “She did the CPR and she revived. But when they got to the hospital they said it was really bad and they would have to do brain surgery on her.”

She was hospitalized and had surgery but died about six hours after the fight at 9 p.m. on Friday.

“There are times when words do not convey the sense of sadness we feel,” Mayor Bob Foster said at a press conference. “This is one of those times.”

Police were investigating and said no arrests were immediately planned. They have interviewed the girl who fought with Ramos.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (23)
  1. Greg says:

    Maybe the parents should be arrested.

    1. vivian says:

      Its homicide, that’s what the coroner said
      , hopefully there will be a arrent, including the teachers that knew about the fight and didn’t do anything about it.

    2. Vivian says:

      I was just reading the report of the Doctor, this 10 year girl, received several blows to her skull, her skull was bleeding. How can a 11 yr old girl, have that strength? Has she been in fights before? DId her parents teach her to fight as to defend herself? I really think the 11 years old should be punished. If she is not, there are going to be problems. It seems like the police is looking for reason, as to why NOT arrest her, I read this morning, they are looking into the possiblity that she might of had another condition, that triggered this.

  2. Murdock says:

    “The Press Telegram reported the fight was pre-planned.” That means they had a disagreement during school and basically said “I’ll meet you at the flagpole after school to resolve it (aka a fight.)

    It’s been happening for decades and usually nothing serious happens. First one to draw blood wins the fight. Unfortunately, in this case, something happened.

  3. Bigalow says:

    Murdock – Sure, point well taken. BUT – had this tragedy occurred in a well-to-do neighborhood in Los Angeles’ West Side and the police likewise responded with such flippant casualness, there would be a legal circus with angry parents plastered all over the nightly news.

    1. Alpha Kenny Juan says:

      Not necessarily. I doubt that Westside parents would vote to arrest and prosecute an 11-year-old girl, if the perpetrator was the same age as the victim. I’d argue that well-to-do parents are often more permissive than lower-middle-class parents, and I think Westside parents would also realize that it’s in nobody’s best interest to lock away a little girl because she did something stupid.

  4. alg says:

    There are so many if’s, well, maybe, oh she just 11 yrs old, and nothing like this has ever happened before, and there is no reason to arrest an 11 year old.
    I beg to differ. This was a planned event. The girl who caused the death of this girl needs to be punished. I don’t care how, but perhaps in juvenile hall for a few months, or longer.
    I would also investigate the parents and see if they have any police records, etc.,,where violence is shown.
    How are they training their daughter at his point in time. Are they training her to be a BOXER, or combative with anyone she can bully.
    I don’t see anyone saying that there was NO PROOF that she was NOT BULLIED.
    A lot had to happen before this event happened. Enough kids in school KNEW that their was going to be a fight, when and where, and the fact that NO ONE
    TOLD A TEACHER what was going to happen is the SCHOOLS FAULT. PERIOD.
    The girls parents need to sue the parents of the bad girl, and the school, and the district. Do it. Maybe bullying etc. will have another step down, but I doubt it.
    And for all of you that say that it isn’t anyone’s fault. BS, BS,BS,and more BS.

    1. vivian says:

      I so agree with you, this Ramos girl had brain surgery, whatever that means. She must have had a blown to her face real bad. If this other girls gets away with it, she will do it again. The school and everyone involved should be sue, including the police. They have done a horrible job reporting this and giving details. I’m so sick of corruption in our legal system,, I don’t know how anyone can live with this.

    2. FidelityBraveryIntegrity says:

      They still have NOT proven that the original fight is waht caused the death of the girl. Read the story again. It sounds like they are suspicious that something else accured after the fight.

      1. alg says:

        You don’t have the latest news, this morning the police named the death a HOMICIDE, and have arrested the girl involved. An investigation of the parents is also planned. etc…The girl will be charged with murder. I don’t know how they treat someone that age, but she must be an example to hopefully stop this bullying, and fighting. Especially at this young age. Imagine in the fifth grade. It’s just too much.

  5. Murdock says:

    The article doesn’t point fingers at either of the girls or indicate which one instigated the fight. For those calling for justice and punishment, it could be possible the girl who survived was actually the victim in the beginning, Until a reliable source says what really happened, nobody will really know.

  6. jojo says:

    The main reason that there will not be an arrest is the other girl is black.

  7. DARRYL says:

    Looks like the police are all ready covering up for the other girl.Her parents must have money or politically connected if the dead child told her parents she was being bullied by the other girl it must have been true

    1. jojo says:

      She’s black and in Long Beach if they were too arrest her they might burn the town down, and the police are afraid of that or worse

  8. Donna says:

    Don’t jump to conclusions.The girl may have had a congenital aneurysm that just started to bleed out..Blood pressure going up can trigger the burst but is not the cause. Some people go through life with a time bomb in their head and don’t even know it. It’s always tragic for someone so young to pass , but sometimes it’s nobodies fault.

  9. Joe Dutra says:

    If the surviving girl was white, than you would most definitely see an arrest.

  10. Anita Mohler says:

    athe “other girl” may have a history of this “meet me in the alley” behavior and i am sure this is not her first fight, this time she got caught and unfortunately this will follow her all her life;I saw something recently about a rise in this type of thug girl mentality in young women;No one did the right thing here NO ONE!

    1. luckyfela1 says:

      You are absolutely on point. I hope that the police interview all the girl students in the school who have complained about bullying by other girls(or boys) and try to find a relative thread of violence or fighting in that school.
      I hope other schools become aware of this problem, and come up with appropiate
      systems to control it.

  11. vivian says:

    They have to arrest this girl, her weapons were her hands and knees, she kneed the girl. You don’t have to have a weapon to kill. My question, how did a 11 year old girl learn to fight so well? She knew how to fight and where to hit. Sometimes we as parents want our kids to protect themselves, and they teach them here and there. She needs to be arrested. Porr Joanna, can you imagine the kind of pain she had? Things have got to improve in the homes, schools, lets stop hurting each other. They have also made this a racial problem, mexican against black. What a shame

  12. jazminee says:

    this little girl had her whole lifetime ahead of her , but she lost it all fighting for just a dumb little boy. she has the smile of her Aunt Crikri Ramos. but we have to look at this sitation as a posotive thing. something worse could’ve have happened to her. only god know why he does what he does. Rest In Peace Joanna , you’ll never be forgotten ❤

  13. Crikri says:

    It hurts to lose my niece in a young age who would ever think it would be my PRINCESS joanna .she was a strong beautiful girl.THAT had her whole life ahead.my princess as one sweet.gilr was really friendly to ppl thats y i ask my self why did god take her away frm us so young if she was one angel that had a heart.but only god noes why he took her so young.he need a angel nxt to him my princess will be looking at all of us frm up in the sky.now that she will be resting in peace you will always be in my heart princess.someday will meeet in the sky and will be seeeing each other.who ever hurt you and caused ur death will pay bak soon.
    love you&miss you princess jonanna R,I,P

    1. cody says:

      Im so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family. Joanna seemed like a really nice girl. I wish I could have been there to stop that fight.

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