High school student was sent back to class after being hit in the head in a fight. Hours later, he was dead

Emmanuel Emeka was meant to head to community college after graduating in two weeks

Dan Gooding
Monday 13 May 2024 16:30 BST
Family and friends pay tribute to teenager Emmanuel Emeka, killed after breaking up fight

A family is fighting for answers after a teenage boy died hours after he was allegedly hit on the back of the head during a fight at school, before being sent back to class.

Emmanuel Emeka, 17, then had a seizure in his classroom at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky, last week. He was rushed to hospital, where his mother told local media she saw a whole team trying, but failing, to save her son.

Emmanuel Emeka, 17, died hours after being hit on the head by another student in Lexington, Kentucky (Lex 18)

The school district has told the family that no fight was reported, but Emmanuel’s family and friends now want answers.

“It hurts. It still hurts. Even being in his house or just in my house in the living because he is just there. Nothing feels the same like it used to,” Emmanuel’s best friend Modoul Danso told Lex 18.

“It’s just he played a big part in all of our lives. We just miss him. It don’t feel the same any more.”

The fight had broken out at the high school, with Emmanuel somehow involved, witnesses said.

It was just after the fight was broken up that the teen was hit on the back of the head by another student, but he reportedly did not get any medical treatment.

Emmanuel’s mother, Irene Mwele, told Lex 18 that she received a call from the school about an emergency at 10.55am, but then she had not heard any updates after that.

“The school is like a second family to him, so they are supposed to take responsibility when she’s not around to know,” Irene explained through a relative translating for her. “And she wants to have that communication with them, so they can tell her what happened exactly with her son.”

Lexington Fire Department told The Independent that it had been called out to the school at 10.09am to reports of a patient experiencing a seizure.

Emmanuel’s mother and siblings are seeking answers over his death last week (Lex 18)

The Fayette County Public School District told The Independent that it had been in “constant contact” with the family.

“The entire FCPS family is grieving the death on Friday of the student at HCHS,” said Dia Davidson-Smith, FCPS spokesperson. “This incident is being fully investigated and no comment will be given until that is complete.

“On behalf of the superintendent and entire FCPS family, our sincere condolences.”

As family and friends sat together on Mother’s Day without him, Emmanuel was described as an honest person with a big heart.

The 17-year-old planned to attend community college once he graduated in two weeks.

“He have his paper, he was accepted into the college. He was talking about the college, how happy and excited he is to leave high school, to start a new life,” says Mr Danso added.

His sister Ndaya Emeka, 14, told the outlet that Emmanuel was the “best brother”.

“If I needed help with something he would help me,” she said. “If I needed, like if my mood changed, he would know before anybody else and if I needed help with school stuff he would do it.”

The Independent has reached out to the Lexington Police Department for further comment but is yet to receive a response.

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