WELLSTON, Mo. (KSDK) - A punching game between a pair of high school freshmen resulted in the death of a 15-year-old participant.
According to the Wellston Police Department, the incident happened during lunch hour at Normandy High School. Two friends, 14 and 15-years-old, were playing a game that consisted of punching each other in the chest.
"It just feels like a nightmare, it just feels like I am still asleep,from the other night and I haven't even woke up yet," said stepmom Janette Oliver.
Fifteen-year-old Marquez Oliver was a middle child, an entertainer, and a loved brother.
"He loved the world, he loved his family, he loved to be around his family, he loved his friends," said Oliver.
His extended family in the Normandy School District is also dealing with the loss.
"It's tragic whenever we lose someone that young," said Chief Administrative Officer Phillip Boyd for the school district.
He says Friday at school was difficult day.
"As a district we provided our crisis intervention team which consists of both NSD staff and external mental health partners, and they've been at it all morning," said Boyd.
The incident was an accident, at least that's what police are leaning towards. Wellston Police Chief G. Thomas Walker says it started as a game between Oliver and a friend, both freshmen. The game sounds like a form of punching tag.
"Apparently the victim from what we are hearing had punched the other student yesterday and he said 'I will get you when I see you next time I will get you!' and apparently he just saw him standing in the hallway and ran up and hit him and I guess he wasn't prepared for it," said Chief Walker.
Witnesses tell police Oliver hit the ground immediately after his friend hit him in the chest with his fist.
School officials responded and tried to resuscitate the 15-year-old, but couldn't. He was rushed to Children's hospital where he died Thursday around 6:30 p.m.
"We understand that the words are really inadequate right now, but we feel for the loss and we want them to know that they are in our prayers and we want to be as supportive as possible," said Boyd.
Oliver says they are taking it day by day and realizing her stepson's dreams of being an entertainer will never come true.
"It's just hard, I am sorry," said Oliver. "It's just really hard because he was like my son."
No word on pre-existing conditions, the family says he may have been borderline asthmatic, but didn't carry an inhaler.
The police investigagtion remains ongoing. Chief Walker says juvenile authorities will decide whether to press charges against the 14-year-old who hit him.
Normandy High School had grief counselors on campus to talk with students and faculty. A letter will be sent home to parents Friday.