WELLSTON, MO (KTVI) - A Normandy High School freshman dies after a friend and fellow classmate punches him in the chest.
The victim was15-year-old Marquez Oliver. He died Thursday evening at St. Louis Childrens` Hospital.
His stepmother, Janette Oliver, is as devastated by what has happened as she is confused.
"I don`t have a clue. I am still puzzled, still dreaming," she said. "It`s just a nightmare."
That nightmare began at lunchtime Thursday in the cafeteria, after Oliver was hit in the chest by a 14 year old classmate, who was also his friend.
"One of the witnesses said they were playing some type of game where whoever saw the other would run up and punch them and then take off running," said Wellston Police Chief G. Thomas Walker. "The victim had punched the 14 year old yesterday and he said I`ll get you, I`ll get you tomorrow."
And he did. Moments after Oliver was hit, he collapsed.
Police say the school`s security guard, who is also an EMT, gave Oliver CPR, and that the school nurse was also helping.
"Our own internal investigation shows there was a near immediate response to the safety concern that occurred," said Normandy School District's Chief Administrative Officer Phillip Boyd.
Other accounts vary wildly about how long it took for help to arrive, and how long it took before an ambulance was called.
"It is just unsettling because he was brain dead when he got to the hospital meaning that he laid there and too much time had passed before he was given CPR," said Oliver`s Aunt, Danielle Hood.
Oliver`s stepmother says he was a healthy kid, though a few years ago he had twice felt chest pains after playing hard, but had not been diagnosed with any medical condition.
The school district is offering few details, and the administrator had a hard time getting through his news conference, twice so overcome with emotion he had to stop speaking.
"Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family. We understand words are really inadequate right now but we feel for the loss and we want them to know they are in our prayers," Boyd said.
he 14 year old boy who hit Oliver is not being held while the case is investigated. Police believe there may be security camera video of the incident.
Once they have seen it, and received autopsy results, they will turn the evidence over to St. Louis County juvenile authorities who will decide whether charges will be filed.
"He loved his family, he had a lot of friends, he was a popular kid in the neighborhood," Janette Oliver said.
"He was very joyous. He strived for nothing but the best."
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