Trending Topics

‘They Are Supposed to Take Responsibility’: Devastated Family Demands Investigation After Kentucky High Schooler Who’s Hit In the Head While Breaking Up Fight, Dies Hours Later

A devastated Kentucky family is seeking answers after a 17-year-old boy died allegedly following a physical altercation at a Lexington high school.

Emeka “Emmanuel” Mwakadi reportedly was hit on the back of his head while breaking up a fight in the bathroom at Henry Clay High School on May 10 before the students were sent back to class, according to local reports. 

Other students said Emeka complained about pain in his head and neck before collapsing in the classroom. Early reports show that he had a seizure and was transported to the hospital, where medical staff worked to save his life before he was pronounced dead.

Kentucky High School Student Was Sent Back to Class After Breaking Up Fight. Hours Later, He Was Pronounced Dead
Emeka “Emmanuel” Mwakadi, 17, reportedly died on May 10, 2024, while breaking up a fight at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo: GoFundMe)

“I thought they was lying, but then when I came in here, I saw everybody crying, so then I started crying,” Mwakadi’s 14-year-old sister Ndaya told LEX 18.

While the family is consumed with grief, they are also questioning why the school did not do more to protect the teenager and are calling for an investigation into his death. 

Lexington Fire Department personnel said they were dispatched to the school at 10:09 a.m. that day, while his mother, Irene Mwele, told the Independent that she had received a call from the school around 10:55 a.m. but hadn’t gotten any updates from school officials since then.

“The school is like a second family to him, so they are supposed to take responsibility when she’s not around to know. And she wants to have that communication with them, so they can tell her what happened exactly with her son,” said a translator who spoke to LEX 18 on Mwele’s behalf.

Mwakadi and his family are Congolese nationals who emigrated to the U.S. through the Catholic Health Mission Activity in 2016, according to attorney Austin Peterson, who is helping the family push for answers.

Mwakadi, who was set to graduate this year, had already been accepted into a community college and had hoped to become a police officer one day. According to Peterson, the teenager had a reputation for being a peacemaker, and witnesses said he had broken up other fights at school before the tragedy. 

FOX 56 reports that the high school senior had no history of seizures or neurological problems, and although his cause of death is undetermined, the local coroner’s office does not suspect foul play.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a traumatic brain injury, which can be a bump, blow,  jolt, or a penetrating injury to the head, can lead to epilepsy and seizures.

Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Demetrus Liggins said there was no evidence of a fight at the school that day, but district spokesperson Dia Davidson-Smith said the “incident is being fully investigated” and that the district had been in “constant communication” with the family.

An online fundraiser has been created to help Mwakadi’s family with the funeral services and burial. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had raised nearly $12,000 of the $30,000 goal.

“He deserves to have a full and fair investigation so that everyone, especially this family, knows what occurred,” Peterson said.

Back to top