Student Dies in School Bathroom Brawl

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A 17-year-old student at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky died on Friday, May 10, after incurring injuries while trying to stop a fight in the school’s bathroom, according to statements from the family’s attorney and local law enforcement. 

The Fayette County Coroner’s office identified the teenager as Emmanuel Mwakadi.

Mwakadi was transported to UK Chandler Hospital on Friday, where he succumbed to his injuries. According to Justin Peterson, the Lexington attorney representing the victim’s family, the incident took place between the first and second periods when the teenager intervened in a fight occurring in one of the men’s restrooms.

“He came out and complained about an injury to his head and neck, went to second period (and) toward the end of the second period, he suffered an event that required the summoning of emergency medical personnel,” the lawyer said. He mentioned that the 17-year-old was about to graduate, merely weeks away, and would have been the first person in his family to go to college.

Emergency services were summoned to the scene after he appeared to experience a seizure.

The Lexington Fire Department, led by Major Derek Roberts, responded to the emergency call at about 10:09 a.m.

Peterson mentioned that just after 10 in the morning, the school summoned Mwakadi’s mother. Following that, she got another call instructing her to proceed to the hospital. Upon her arrival, she discovered the medical team in the process of attempting to revive her son, who passed away shortly after.

The family of the 17-year-old mentioned that he has never had any health problems before. He had been active in sports, including playing football and participating in wrestling.

Lexington Attorney Peterson intends to examine various aspects of the incident, including the initial cause of Mwakadi’s injuries, the timeline, and adequacy of the medical response, and whether these factors played a role in the teenager’s unexpected death. While Lexington Police have not confirmed whether they are formally investigating, Peterson revealed plans to consult with law enforcement, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and Fayette County Public Schools officials directly.

A point of contention raised by Peterson is the alleged lack of communication from school officials to Mwakadi’s family following the incident. He criticized the school for not reaching out to extend sympathies or update the family on the situation. This is in stark contrast to remarks from Dia Davidson-Smith, a spokesperson for Fayette County Public Schools, who claimed that school leaders and teachers have maintained “constant contact” with the deceased student’s family since the incident occurred.

“On behalf of the superintendent and the entire Fayette County Public Schools family, our deepest sympathies,” Davidson-Smith said, affirming the school district’s ongoing support for Mwakadi’s family during this challenging period.

Numerous people gathered on a Tuesday night, May 14, to honor Mwakadi at a memorial organized by his close friends, Tanner Fitzpatrick and Aiden Bolin.

At the request of his family, an autopsy is scheduled to be conducted.

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