Police: Normandy High student dies after horseplay incident


by Jasmine Huda and J.J. Bailey / KMOV.com


Posted on April 12, 2013 at 7:44 AM

Updated Friday, Apr 12 at 4:20 PM

(KMOV.com) – Police on Friday continued to investigate a day after a Normandy High School student died following an incident at the school.

Witnesses told authorities that 15-year-old Marquez Oliver and a friend were playing around in the cafeteria around 1 p.m. Thursday. That’s when the other teen playfully struck Marquez in the chest.

“It was some time of game where they would run up and punch each other in the chest and then run away,” said Wellston Police Chief G. Thomas Walker. “The victim had punched the other young man yesterday. And he said, ‘I’m going to get you. I’m going to get you.’ That day he saw him up in the hall and struck him. And that was a fatal blow.”

After Oliver collapsed, a nurse tried unsuccessfully to revive him. He was taken to St. Louis Children’s Hospital where he died hours later.

Relatives say Marquez had a few bouts of asthma a few years ago but no known existing medical conditions.

“...It doesn’t seem likely that just one blow to the chest could kill an otherwise healthy child,” said Walker.

The only witnesses to the incident were other students, and police were collecting statements on Friday.

The 14-year-old boy who struck him was released after being processed at the Wellston police station. Juvenile authorities said because it appeared to be an accident, the student does not likely face charges. Normandy school district would not comment on whether he would be disciplined.

At least twice, an official with the Normandy school district broke down when describing the death of a student to News 4.

The investigation is ongoing.