BOSTON (WHDH) - The death of an Emerson College student-athlete who passed away Wednesday after suffering extensive and irreparable brain damage during a fight at a party early Saturday morning is being investigated as a homicide, officials announced.
Officers responding to a reported assault and battery in the area of 15 Park Vale Ave. in Brighton around 1:30 a.m. found 19-year-old Daniel Hollis, of Hopedale, unconscious on the ground and suffering from a head injury, according to the Boston Police Department.
Hollis, a sophomore studying marketing communications, succumbed to a traumatic brain stem injury around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, four days after he and his friends were confronted by a group of college-aged boys while leaving a party, according to a post on the family’s Caring Bridge page.
The encounter allegedly led to a physical fight in which Hollis subsequently hit his head on either cement or bricks.
He fell unconscious and was taken to a Boston hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with a blood clot on his brain, the family added.
Hollis underwent emergency surgery but scans showed that he had “extensive and unrepairable (sic) damage to large sections of his brain,” the family wrote.
He never regained consciousness.
Sixteen-year-old Aurora Arntz, who lives in the area, caught the aftermath of the brawl on camera and said the whole thing left her feeling shaken up.
The video captures shouting and the sound of fleeing footsteps.
With heavy hearts, friends, family and students attended a vigil for their fellow classmate Thursday.
“I just want everybody to know how caring he was and how much he really meant to everyone in this community and how much he meant to the men’s lacrosse team in general,” Araron Miller said.
Emerson President Lee Pelton spoke to a crowd of tearful students at the vigil.
“To have his journey, becoming th person that he was meant to be cut short, is something that fills all of our hearts with grief,” Pelton said.
As the college displayed Hollis’s photo on the marquee of the Culter Majestic Theatre, his mother posted online, “Our entire family continues to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and well wishes from those who knew Dan or knew of him.”
Hollis’s former high school lacrosse coach Eric Moxim attended the ceremony with some of his current and former players.
“It is a kid who once told me, ‘Coach, I just like to smile,” Moxim said. “The world needs kids like that that turn into humans like that. We don’t get a lot of them and now we are done one.
Hollis’s family did not attend the event. They said they will be holding a service next weekend.
Anyone with information regarding the altercation is asked to contact Boston homicide detectives at 617-343-4470. Those who wish to pass along an anonymous tip can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to support the Hollis family.
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