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Boy Who Died After Fistfight at Palmdale School Is Identified

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The 13-year-old boy who died after a fistfight at his middle school Friday has been identified as Steven Corson of Palmdale, authorities said Saturday.

Corson and another eighth-grader got into a fight after class at Juniper Intermediate School. As a teacher’s aide tried to break them up, Steven fell and hit his head on the sidewalk, school officials said. He went into cardiac arrest and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Sheriff’s Department homicide detectives are awaiting autopsy results before deciding how to proceed, said Deputy Joan Raber, a department spokeswoman.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said a preliminary autopsy did not reveal a cause of death. Results from a final autopsy could take four to six weeks.

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Raber said the other boy involved in the fight, whose name authorities declined to release, has not been taken into custody or charged with a crime.

Palmdale School District Supt. Nancy Smith, who said the death appeared unintentional, said Saturday that sheriff’s investigators interviewed the 14-year-old boy at length before letting him go home with his father Friday night.

Smith said the student will not be permitted to return to class until school officials hold a hearing to consider whether he should be suspended--the district’s standard procedure for dealing with students involved in fights.

She said the school district is also planning to collect donations to help Steven’s mother, a single parent, pay for his funeral. The boy was new at the school, Smith said, and most teachers and students did not know him very well.

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