11 Year-Old Dies After Fight

Monday, February 27, 2012 - 10:09am

Investigators aren't sure if after-school fight triggered girl's death.

Family and friends are mourning the loss of an 11-year-old girl Long Beach, Calilfornia girl who died mysteriously hours after a fight on Friday.

Long Beach police officers responded just before 6 p.m. Friday to a local hospital after being notified that Joanna Ramos, who was unconscious and not breathing, had been brought into the emergency room by her family.

“I want to know what happened,” said Joanna’s mother, Cecilia Villanueva, through tears.

She was taken in for surgery, placed into intensive care in critical condition, and died just before 9 p.m.

Police said she had no visual signs of trauma to her body.

Joanna and a fellow student from Willard Elementary School had been in a fight after school in an alley.

With seven others looking on, the girls took off their backpacks, put their hair in a bun, said “Go” and started hitting each other.

The fight lasted a minute.

It did not involve weapons and no one was knocked to the ground, police said.

Once the fight was over, both girls left the area and went their separate ways.

Later, Joanna had a bloody nose and wasn't feeling well so she was taken to the hospital, her family said.

"It was too late," her mother said. "She was in a coma."

Several classmates of both girls said the girls were fighting over a boy.

Joanna's friends said the two simply could not get along.

Long Beach police declined to comment on Sunday, saying they were awaiting the results of an autopsy.

Detectives have interviewed the other classmate and onlookers.

They were also trying to identify other witnesses and anyone who knows what led to the fight.

No arrests have been made.

While the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause of death, police will continue to do interviews.

Officers will present their findings to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, which will review the case and determine if any charges will be filed.

Police said no one has alleged or suggested that Joanna was being bullied.

None of the students interviewed told detectives that school officials were made aware of the impending fight.

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