MORENO VALLEY (CBSLA) — A 13-year-old boy whose head struck a concrete pillar after he was punched by another boy at a Moreno Valley middle school has died from his injuries.
The boy, identified only as Diego, was pronounced clinically dead Tuesday night as a result of the injuries he sustained in a Sept. 16 attack, according to a Facebook post from the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station.
His family plans to donate Diego’s organs “to transform this tragedy into the gift of life for other children.”
On Wednesday night, a vigil was held at Landmark Middle School in Moreno Valley where Diego was a student, but grief turned to anger when Moreno Valley Unified Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora arrived.
“We are here for Diego,” one girl said through tears. “Diego lost his life today. Diego’s not here no more.”
Hundreds of parents and students were at the vigil marked by a small candlelit memorial at the gates of the school where an attack that left Diego critically injured was recorded on cell phone video.
“What did the school district do? Nothing,” one woman said. “What did the school district do a week before when the mother came pleading for her son’s life? They did nothing. Where is the superintendent?”
Kedziora addressed the mourners briefly stating that his goal was to work with the community and to support them, but some in the crowd questioned his sincerity.
“We are the community, and you’re not working with us,” a woman said. “We are the community.”
Others said Kedziora should resign for what they said was a lack of action to curb an ongoing problem with bullying.
What started as an emotional tribute to the teen, ended with Kedziora seeking shelter inside of the school behind locked doors as Riverside County sheriff’s deputies stood outside.
“I just hope that all this teaches a lesson to the school district, because it’s the one who needs to do something about it,” one woman said.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said it filed complaints against two juveniles charging them both with assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury in connection with the attack, which has spurred angry questions from parents about bullying at the school and whether anything has been done to prevent it.
Parents at the vigil said they filed a petition with the school district and planned to state their case Thursday evening in front of Diego’s memorial.