A Marine on leave may have been involved in an off-campus fight that caused the death of Emerson College sophomore Daniel Hollis, who succumbed to a brain injury five days later, the U.S. Marine Corps confirmed on Tuesday.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that an off-base incident allegedly involving one of our Marines has led to the passing of a man in the Boston community,’’ read a USMC released statement sent to Oxygen.com.
The statement didn’t identify the Marine, but indicated that the incident went on during the marine's approved leave time "in the early hours of Sept. 28."
Hollis was fatally injured at around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 28, Boston.com reported.
The young man, who played goalie for Emerson’s lacrosse team, was with friends leaving a party near Park Vale Road in the Boston’s Allston neighborhood at around 1:30 a.m., when they encountered a group who squared off with them over some kind of dispute, according to Boston.com.
Sometime during the brawl, Hollis was struck and hit his head hard on the pavement.
Responding officers found Hollis “unconscious and suffering from a head injury,” the Boston Police Department wrote in a release. Hollis was taken to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with a blood clot.
Hollis had sustained irreparable brain damage from the fight, according to his family.
After undergoing multiple surgeries, Hollis was unable to recover from the life-threatening injuries.
The Corps expressed sympathies in its statement Tuesday.
“This is a tragic event, and is being treated with great care and solemnity on the part of the command,” it read.
A Boston Police Department spokesman confirmed to Oxygen.com on Monday evening that so far, there have been no arrests in the death — which is being investigated as a homicide — but the case remains "active and open."
"We stand in full support of the Boston Police Department as they continue their investigation into this matter,” Hollis's mom, Jennifer Kelly, wrote in an Oct. 4 post on a crowdfunding support website. “We are confident they will find the individuals responsible for this tragic act of violence and bring them to justice.”
Hollis’s death has already established a legacy.
Because he was an organ donor, he's posthumously helped to save three lives — and could potentially aid more, according to his mother's updates online.
"As we mourn his loss, we take solace in the fact that Dan’s choice to be an organ donor saved the lives of three people on Thursday," Kelly wrote.
In a post from the day before, Kelly indicated that surgeons managed to salvage her son's heart valves — "and those will be able to be donated at a later date."
All of the donations, Kelly said, pay "respects to the memory of Hollis."
"We pray for a speedy recovery and long, prosperous life for the recipients and their families. May they use his gift to make the world a better place," she wrote.
There also has been outpouring of anguish shared throughout Boston after learning of Hollis's death.
Emerson College President Lee Pelton noted that the 6-foot, 4-inch goalie held a state record for "most lacrosse saves in a season," and vowed that he would never be forgotten by the athletic and academic community, in an emailed letter to students and faculty. Pelton will be "deeply missed by the many Emersonians who came to know and love him," Pelton wrote.
Hollis, who was also majoring in marketing, lived for the "camaraderie of the team" and "enjoying experiences with others," according to the young athlete's obituary.
Christie Sether, who identified herself as Hollis’s girlfriend, poured her heart out in an Instagram post about losing who she considered to be her “first love.”
“You were strong, brave, selfless, handsome, caring, kind, loving and so funny it was annoying," Sether wrote. "But I would give anything to laugh with you again right now. I don’t know how to live in a world without you in it, and I’ve always prayed that I would never have to, but I do know I will figure it out, and you would want me to be strong.”
Hollis is survived by his parents, Jason Hollis and Jennifer Kelly, as well as his sister, Kathryn Kelly, and other relatives. A funeral service is scheduled for Oct. 13, according to the obituary.
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