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20-year-old's death after UNLV fraternity's 'fight night' ruled a homicide

Posted at 5:34 PM, Nov 29, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The death of a 20-year-old UNLV student at an amateur "fight night" has been ruled a homicide, a spokesman for Clark County confirmed on Monday.

Dan Kulin confirmed the coroner's determination but noted "homicide" in this case means the death happened at the hands of another and does not necessarily denote a criminal act.

Nathan Valencia collapsed a few minutes after taking part in a fight during Kappa Sigma Fight Night at the Sahara Events Center on Nov. 19, his girlfriend told 13 Action News. He died at Sunrise Hospital on Nov. 23.

The fundraiser event is held annually and "was well known to both UNLV and the national Kappa Sigma fraternity," according to a statement from attorneys representing Valencia's family.

MORE: Family of UNLV student who died following fraternity's amateur 'fight night' event seeks answers

Attorney Nick Lasso claimed medical help was not available at the event and there was no professional referee.

"What we heard was he was laying on the floor waiting for paramedics for about 15 minutes because they didn't have paramedics on standby at the site," Valencia's mother told CNN. "We have video showing the referee was drinking, as well as the judges, during the event."

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said they "have investigated the licensing of the boxing charity event" where Valencia was critically injured.

"Currently, there is no information that there is any criminality in the part of the venue," a department spokesperson wrote in a Monday email to 13 Action News.

Any enforcement action should come from the Nevada Athletic Commission, police said.

UNLV's president previously said the university is "committing all available resources to review the incident and determine how off-campus events like these can be as safe as possible."

MORE: Loved ones remember UNLV student who died following fraternity boxing match