Misael Sanchez, Soccer Player, Dies From Injuries Sustained in Mid-Game Fight

A soccer player who was injured in a fight that broke out during a game at a high school in California died on Monday, according to CBS News. Police said that Misael Sanchez, 29, died more than two weeks after an on-field fight that included players and spectators at Oxnard High School in Oxnard, California. The fight was started over a referee's decision in a game on July 10, and one man was arrested on suspicion of battery. An autopsy was performed on Sanchez, but the cause of death has not been made public, according to PEOPLE. 

"The autopsy is really going help us determine whether or not there was criminal conduct," Oxnard Police Department commander Alex Arnett said, per NBC News. "We understand that there was a fight on the field. We understand the victim was a participant in the fight. But we can't say [right now whether] the fight is what resulted in the victim's death."

In the initial release, police said it received a call around 11 a.m. local time on July 10 in response to the fight. "When officers arrived, they located the victim, 29-year-old Misael Sanchez. Sanchez was unresponsive and not breathing," the release said. Sanchez was rushed to a local hospital and was listed in critical condition at the time. Witnesses told police that the fight was between two soccer teams after they disagreed with a referee's decision. During the brawl, Sanchez was "assaulted by multiple assailants." Berlin Jose Melgara, 46, was identified as "one of the assailants" and was arrested. Police said the investigation is ongoing. 

Sanchez's family launched a GoFundMe page and has raised close to $30,000. "My family is heartbroken and still in disbelief, as we expected a bright future for him," the statement on GoFundMe reads. "Misael was assaulted by multiple assailants on July 10, 2022, and left in critical condition. We were not ready for this type of goodbye. At this time, we are asking for your prayers, and if you can contribute financially, it will be greatly appreciated. The donations will help the family through these hard times."