Officials Announce Cause of Death for 13-Year-Old Who Died After Fight Near Middle School

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
April 29, 2019US News
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Officials Announce Cause of Death for 13-Year-Old Who Died After Fight Near Middle School
Attucks Middle School in a file photo. (Google Maps)

The cause of death for a 13-year-old who died several days after being attacked near her school in Houston, Texas, was a brain tumor, or complications of intracranial neoplasm.

The cause of death was issued after a medical examiner completed an autopsy on Kashala Francis, the teen, reported KTRK.

Video footage showed Kashala being violently attacked near the Attucks Middle School on April 25. She died several days later in the hospital.

Mamie Jackson, the girl’s mother, believed that the tumor may have been exacerbated by the fight. “I can see these girls kicking her in the head while other children are laughing at her,” she said.

According to Miya Shay, a KTRK reporter, it was “Unclear what, if any role a fight near her middle school days before played” in the death.

Jackson told KTRK that her daughter returned home after the attack and had a bruise on her face but insisted she was fine. Two days later, her daughter was at a relative’s house and appeared to become delusional. The day after that, Kashala became weak and lay down, and by the time first responders arrived, she was unconscious.

“We found out she has a large tumor in the back of her head, and she had fluid buildup in her brain,” Jackson said.

The girl was treated at Texas Children’s Hospital.

In a statement to the Houston Chronicle, the school district stated: “The Houston Independent School District is deeply saddened to learn of the death of one of our students. We extend our sincere condolences to the student’s family, friends, teachers, and classmates. Off-campus events that preceded the student’s death are being investigated by the Houston Police Department, and HISD is cooperating. We have grief counselors available at Attucks Middle School for all who may need assistance.”

A fundraiser on Facebook for Kashala’s family has raised over $15,000 in seven days.

Tyshasta Harris, who started the fundraiser, wrote: “Kashala Francis was a 7th-grade student at Attacks Middle School that was full of love and had her whole life ahead of her. On April 21, 2019, Kashala was hospitalized due to a headache which turned out to be a brain tumor.”

“After multiple surgeries, the doctors stated that there is nothing they can do for Kashala and she has been pronounced this dead this morning,” Harris added. “Therefore, we ask for your support during this travesty. Community and support is everything in such tragic events. We come together to help each other out and support one another. When life happens, we happen too! Please continue sharing the campaign’s link with your friends and family.”

Violence in Classrooms

In another incident, classmates of Raniya Wright, the South Carolina 5th grader who died in March after a classroom fight, said that the brawl was violent, contradicting the descriptions of officials.

Investigators said on April 19 that Raniya died when an unknown condition, known as arteriovenous malformation, or a tangling of blood vessels, caused a rupture in her brain. They said her death was from natural causes, not the fight.

But classmates painted a different picture.

In written statements provided to law enforcement officials, the classmates said that Raniya, 10, was punched repeatedly and thrown into a bookshelf, reported WIS.

After she was separated from the other student, she was taken to the principal’s office. She complained of dizziness and a headache, prompting staffers to carry her to the nurse’s office, where she vomited and became unresponsive.

Officials claimed that the fight was brief and only consisted of slapping.

While 14th Circuit Solicitor said that a forensic pathologist determined Wright’s death was natural and an autopsy four days after the fight revealed no visible signs of trauma, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said that whether or not the injury will present itself during an autopsy depends on the severity of the injury.

“If you get punched and it breaks your nose, obviously you’re going to see that,” Watts said. “If you get punched and it’s very superficial, there’s no bruising or anything like that—then it’s not going to show up.”

Ashley Wright and her daughter Raniya Wright
Ashley Wright and her daughter Raniya Wright in a file photo. (Ashley Wright/GoFundMe)
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