No Charges in Girl Fight Death of 11-year-old Joanna Ramos

Prosecutors have declined to file charges in the homicide case of 11-year-old Joanna Ramos.

The Feb. 24 death of Joanna Ramos was a "fight between two children that ended with unintended and tragic results," but no crime was committed, the Police Department said in a printed statement.

Joanna died at a hospital about six hours after suffering head trauma in fight with another girl at Willard Elementary School in Long Beach.

The fight near the school didn't appear to be especially serious or violent, no weapons were used and neither girl was knocked to the ground, police have said.

The name of her opponent has not been made public.

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Witnesses said that Joanna had a bloody nose when she returned to her after-school program and had to be picked up early because she didn't feel well.

"My daughter started complaining, saying she doesn't feel good, let's go home, so we went to home and I changed her clothes, and she go to sleep, that's the only thing that I know," Joanna's mother, Cecilia Villanueva said.

"We took her to the hospital but it was too late. She was in a coma."

Later that day, Ramos died at a Long Beach hospital, about six hours after the fight in an alley, police said.

"I want to know what happened," Villanueva said through tears.

Police could not say what prompted the fight but friends had their suspicions.

"They were fighting over a boy," said Stephanie Guadalupe, a friend of Joanna. "I told the teacher and she said she would talk to all the girls on Monday."

The Long Beach Press Telegram reported the fight was pre-planned. Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Chris Steinhauser told the newspaper there was no indication that adults at the school, attended by about 800 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, were aware of the fight or notified about beforehand.

The students involved in the altercation left an after-school program and went to an alley near the school to fight. Some students said bullying had been a problem at the school but Deputy Chief Robert Luna could not confirm if this was an issue in this incident.

"They took off their backpacks, and they put their hair in a bun, and then that's when they said 'go' and that's when they started hitting each other," Joanna's friend and classmate Maggie Martinez, who watched the fight, told media sources.

"There are times when words do not convey the sense of sadness we feel," Mayor Bob Foster said at a press conference. "This is one of those times."

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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