Marquez Oliver, Normandy High Freshman, Dies From Punching Game With Fellow Student

Categories: Crime, Education

marquez oliver twitter.jpg
via Twitter
Marquez Oliver, fifteen.
A very sad story at Normandy High School today. Officials say that two students were playing around at lunch yesterday when one punched the other in the chest as part of a game that appears to have gone horribly wrong.

The student, Marquez Oliver, a fifteen-year-old freshman, collapsed in the cafeteria -- and a school resource officer and nurse tried, unsuccessfully, to revive the boy. He regained consciousness in the ambulance, officials say, but died just after 6:30 p.m.

Police say it seems there was no bullying or foul play -- just two students horsing around.

Police officials tell the Post-Dispatch that the boy who struck Oliver is fourteen years old:

"It was a game, and they would run up and one would punch the other one in the chest and run off," said Wellston Police Chief G. Thomas Walker.

At about 1 p.m. Thursday, Marquez was hit in the chest in the cafeteria. Witnesses told police that Marquez said: "Oh yeah, I can take that. That didn't hurt," and then he immediately collapsed, Walker said.

Marquez apparently did not suffer from any known medical condition, the paper reports. As part of the game, Marquez had reportedly punched the fourteen-year-old in the chest the day before.

Daily RFT got a copy of the letter Normandy High School sent out to parents today, full version on view below.

Principal Calvin Nicholas writes:

During the lunch period yesterday, a 9th grade student collapsed after apparently engaging in physical play with other students. After being transported to the hospital, we learned late last evening the student passed.

In our district, the safety and well-being of our students and staff in a productive learning environment is our highest priority. The loss of any member of the Normandy School District family, particularly a student, is disturbing to us all. We are saddened by this unfortunate incident and understand that students may have upsetting feelings about the loss of one of their classmates....

Our deepest sympathy goes out to the student's family. Words are totally inadequate to express our feelings

KSDK (Channel 5) just tweeted out this photo.

And the P-D has this raw footage of an emotional press conference at the school today in which Phillip Boyd, chief administrative officer for the Normandy School District, adressed reporters. He broke down in tears twice.

Here's the full letter.

Marquez Oliver Letter

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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Steve Hatfalvi
Steve Hatfalvi

kids love to push the envelope which is natural. and the envelope will most certainly seal your fate.

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

And I dont know what school you went to Peggy Keller but punching your friends in the chest was never a game at any school I went to growing up. Its sad these days how people think and just dissmiss this as a "game" or "horsing around".

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

I worked at Normandy HighSchool for a year. The way those kids act tells me this was not just a game. They actually have a armed security office at their school. Violence is a daily routine there.

Peggy Keller
Peggy Keller

Yeah I really feel for the friend, they were both playing this game, one that most of us played when we were kids, and this was just a freak accident.

Shelly Pogue
Shelly Pogue

How sad I can't imagine what his friend is going through right now that's so terrible:(


@Kevin Rudroff Most schools have a police officer or armed security guard...even middle schools

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