COLTON, California -- The parents of a 12-year-old boy who died after playing soccer on Tuesday, April 12th during a physical education class at an elementary school in Colton, California said Wednesday that a school bully stomped on their son’s chest before he lost consciousness.
Joel Gallegos told KTLA his son Dominick was playing on a field at Ulysses S. Grant Elementary School just before the school day ended when the incident occurred.
School officials told him that Dominick had fallen and lost consciousness after running into another student, Gallegos said.
Dominick was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Katie Orloff, a spokeswoman for the Colton Joint Unified School District confirmed that a student died -- and said a crisis team was at the school on Wednesday. She did not provide any details as to what occurred at the school on Tuesday.
"Everybody here is trying to do their best to support each other and work through it as the community that we are," Orloff said.
Detectives were sent to the hospital and ruled out any type of assault or physical injury that may have happened at the school, according to Colton Police Department Officer Todd Smith, the school's resource officer.
Smith said investigators were waiting for a report from the county coroner's office.
However, Dominick’s father talked to his son's friends who witnessed the incident -- and Joel Gallegos told KTLA he believes his son was kicked by another student.
"I guess the kid thought he was playing around. He started shaking him to wake up," Gallegos said.
But that's when the bell ending to school day rang and the boy just took off, Gallegos said.
"I don't know where the teachers were. Someone should have been watching those kids," Gallegos said.
Gallegos and the boy's mother both said their son had no health problems and recently had a physical.
"This kid did it on purpose," said Gallegos.
The father said he asked his son’s friends if Dominick had a problem with the other boy prior to the incident, but the friends said, "No, that's just the way that kid is.”
Gallegos said he wanted to help police with their investigation -- but they had yet to speak with him.
"He was my only son," Gallegos said.
On Tuesday night, about 100 parents and students gathered at the school, but no one who spoke to a KTLA reporter was able to say exactly what had happened, only that a student had died early that day.