FORT WORTH -- A 16-year-old Southwest High School student who had a heart condition died after fighting with another student Friday morning across from the campus.
As about a dozen other students watched, Jose Guzman, a junior, and a 15-year-old freshman fought behind Southwest Community Center, just across the street from the high school when Guzman fell or was knocked down, according to information from police and school district officials.
Someone called 911 for medical help.
School initiative officers were also notified, but when they arrived they found Guzman unresponsive on the ground, according to police. At some point, a student ran to get the school nurse, but MedStar paramedics were on scene when she arrived.
Guzman was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
It is not known whether any weapons were used in the fight, Fort Worth police spokeswoman Sharron Neal said.
It is also unclear whether Guzman died because of a medical condition or from injuries in the fight, officials said. An autopsy is scheduled for today.
Police questioned the 15-year-old and witnesses Friday. Neal said the homicide unit will investigate the case.
A cousin of Guzman's, Armando Arciniega Jr., said the teen had a heart condition.
"I grew up with him. He was like a brother to me," Arciniega said.
Guzman is survived by his parents, Jose Sr. and Gabriela. He had two sisters, Janette, 24, and Jennifer, 19.
"Jose was loved very much," Janette said.
"He was all about family and friends," added his sister, Jennifer.
Catalina Arciniega said her cousin was "very respectful."
School district spokesman Clint Bond said the students left campus during the 10:20 a.m. passing period to fight behind the community center. The 911 call was placed at 10:38 a.m. Authorities had not yet determined who placed the call.
Friends said they didn't know what prompted the fight. They described Guzman, who was in the Junior ROTC, as easygoing.
"He didn't have problems with anyone. He avoided bad stuff, but everyone has problems sometimes," said senior Jeffrey Ortega. "He wasn't the type of person to talk about that kind of stuff going on."
Senior Giovanna Rivera had been in JROTC with Guzman and said she never knew him to clash with anyone. "He was just outgoing and laid-back," said Rivera, crying. "He was an artist."
She and other friends said Guzman liked to draw and create graffiti-inspired illustrations. They also said it was well known among those at the school that he had a heart murmur.
"We both had one, so we would check up on each other and he'd ask me questions about it," senior Kassandra Morales said. "He was a good person. I can't believe it."
Information about the 15-year-old was not available, other than he was also believed to be in JROTC.
Bond said the school had four campus monitors on duty Friday morning and a school resource officer is assigned to the school.
"When classes change, the monitors are in positions where there are the greatest number of students," Bond said. "It's also not a prison either. It's not like students can't open a door and walk out."
Counselors were at the 1,475-student high school throughout the day talking with students and teachers as needed, Bond said.
Eva-Marie Ayala, 817-390-7700
Terry Evans, 817-390-7638