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What we know — and don't know — about the case of the fifth grader who died after a classroom fight

Posted at 3:55 AM, Mar 29, 2019

Hundreds clasped hands and prayed during a vigil for Raniya Wright, a fifth-grader who died this week after a fight at her elementary school.

Residents of Walterboro, South Carolina, about an hour's drive west of Charleston, laid pink stuffed animals at the entrance of Forest Hills Elementary School on Thursday.

Raniya's grandfather, Ernie Wright, spoke to CNN and described her as a young girl who would not be involved in violence.

"I just want to say one thing: that my granddaughter, she was a good girl. You know, she was like 10 years old and for as what kind of person she was, she was an usher in the church. Very much, you know ... She just, just good to go. I mean, as far as violence or anything like that, she never would do that," he said.

As her family continues to grieve and the small town of 5,100 residents remains in shock, there are many unanswered questions. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday, the sheriff's office said.

Here's what we know and don't know about the young girl's death:

What we know

Raniya died two days after the fight

She suffered serious injuries when a fight broke out in her classroom on Monday, school officials said. She was taken to the school nurse's station and paramedics took her to a nearby hospital. Later, she was airlifted to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where she died Wednesday.

Two students were in the fight

Only one other student was involved in the Monday fight, the Colleton County Sheriff's Office said. The student was also a fifth-grader.

She was not injured with a weapon

Authorities are describing the fight as a "physical altercation" and said no weapons were involved.

No one has been arrested

School officials said a student at Forest Hills Elementary School has been suspended but it's unclear whether that student was involved in the fight.

There have been no arrests and authorities have not filed any criminal charges in connection with Raniya's death, the sheriff's office said.

What the school says

The Colleton County School Board made its first comments on Raniya's death following a special meeting Thursday to discuss the incident, CNN affiliate WCSC reported .

However, those who came to the meeting were angered and disappointed to hear very little details about the incident, according to the station.

"Our board and district have received multiple requests for information. Due to the ongoing investigation and student privacy laws, we cannot share specific details at this time," School District Board Chairman Tim Mabry said in a prepared statement, according to WCSC.

What we don't know

The exact manner of Raniya's death

More details about how Raniya died could be revealed after an autopsy is performed on Friday.

What sparked the fight

The students were in a classroom when the fight broke out, but it's unclear what led to the confrontation. School officials have not discussed whether the students were in the middle of a lesson, were between breaks or even if the students were in the same class.

What happened during the fight

School officials said they stopped the fight but did not specify how long the students were fighting. Authorities have not said how exactly Raniya got injured.

What were Raniya's injuries

When paramedics arrived to the school, Raniya was unconscious in the school nurse's station, according to a sheriff's office incident report. She was taken to two different hospitals, but the sheriff's department did not say what type of injuries did she suffered or why was she airlifted to a Charleston hospital.

What's going to happen with the other student

The other student involved in the fight is a minor and has not been identified. It's unclear whether school officials have discussed the fate of the student.

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