3:30 PM PST, November 30, 2021
The death of a young college student who died after partaking in a fraternity-sponsored fight night event has been ruled a homicide due to his severe brain injury.
Nathan Valencia, a junior at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, had no boxing experience, but was eager to take part in the charity event organized by his fraternity, Kappa Sigma, says his girlfriend Lacy Foster.
“The moment we walked in there, things didn’t seem right. It just seemed kind of off,” Foster said.
Valencia participated in the “main event” of the night, according to a flyer.
Foster was ringside as Valencia took blow after blow to the head. After the match ended, she knew something was wrong.
“You could just kind of tell, just the way he was looking at you, that he was just out of it,” Foster said.
Moments later, Valencia collapsed. After four days in the hospital, he died of blunt force trauma to the head.
“College students should not be placed in a situation where they are pitted against each other for combat. We will leave no stone unturned to determine how a 20-year-old ended up in a school-sanctioned amateur fight that cost him his life,” his grief-stricken family said in a statement through their attorney.
A vigil was held last weekend on what would have been Valencia’s 21st birthday.
The university’s president said in a statement that they are reviewing the incident to make off-campus events like the fight night as safe as possible.
The investigation is ongoing.