A 12-year-old California boy died after a bully stomped on his chest at school, the boy's parents said.
Dominick Gallegos, a sixth-grader at Ulysses S. Grant Elementary School in Colton, California, was playing in a school soccer game during his gym class on April 12 when he reportedly ran into another student and fell down.
A boy known for bullying other students then stomped on Dominick's chest twice while he was down, Dominick's parents, Joel and Charmaine Gallegos told KTLA. Dominick lost consciousness and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
"It was PE," Joel said. "Somebody should have been watching those kids play. That kid wouldn’t have had the nerve to stomp on my kid’s chest if he knew there was a teacher watching. Someone should have been watching those kids."
Police are currently investigating the incident. They are waiting for the autopsy report to disclose the official cause of death but noted that their preliminary investigation ruled out any type of physical injury or assault. The coroner's division of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's said Dominick "suddenly collapsed" on the soccer field and was pronounced dead roughly an hour later, New York Daily News reports.
However, Dominick's parents maintained that two witnesses saw the stomping take place.
On April 13, hundreds of Colton residents came out to support the Gallegos family by holding a vigil for Dominick, KTLA notes.
The school district did not provide details about the incident to KTLA, but they did say that a crisis team and counselors came to the school on April 13 to assist students anf faculty.
"Everybody here is trying to do their best to support each other and work though it as the community that we are," Katie Orloff, spokeswoman for the Colton Joint Unified School District, said, according to New York Daily News.
"He was my only son," Joel said through tears.