Boy who was sucker-punched at Moreno Valley school dies from injuries

Landmark Middle School in Moreno Valley.
(Google Maps)

A boy who was critically injured last week after being sucker-punched at school in an assault captured on video died Tuesday night, authorities said.

The boy, identified by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department only as Diego, was 13.

Two 13-year-old students were arrested in connection with the Sept. 16 attack at Landmark Middle School in Moreno Valley.

Authorities were investigating whether Diego had been the target of bullying before he was assaulted.

A video posted to Facebook shows a boy punching Diego, who is then struck by a third person standing out of frame. Diego appears to hit his head on a concrete pillar as he falls to the ground. The assailant who threw the first punch strikes the boy again before running away.

Diego was taken to the hospital in critical condition, authorities said.

The two suspects in the attack were arrested that evening, according to the Sheriff’s Department. They were booked into Riverside Juvenile Hall, where they remain. Their identities were not released because of their age.

The Riverside County district attorney’s office has filed juvenile petitions — the juvenile court equivalent of a criminal complaint — against both attackers, charging them with assault. Each has a hearing set for early October.

It was not immediately clear what led up to the attack.

The middle school, which serves more than 1,100 students, has been the site of multiple violent altercations in the last year.


Sheriff’s deputies have responded to on-campus reports of battery six times since August 2018, Deputy Robyn Flores said.

Diego’s family is making preparations to donate his organs “to transform this tragedy into the gift of life for other children,” Sheriff’s Department officials said.