Misael Sanchez, 29, was playing in the July 10 match at Oxnard High School, hosted by La Nueva Liga Oxnard, when a massive fight broke out involving dozens of people, including spectators and players. Sanchez was taken to a hospital, where he died Monday, 15 days later.
The Oxnard Police Department has not announced any arrests in connection with the brawl.
“None of us will rest until those who hurt Misael are found,” Sanchez’s father, Guadalupe Sanchez, said in a statement released by the family’s attorney.
“My son didn’t deserve this,” the elder Sanchez said Thursday in a translated statement read at a news conference in Ventura. “He had many dreams to accomplish and his whole life ahead of him. His death was not an accident.”
Misael Sanchez, the first in his family to attend a university, had received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cal State Northridge and was working toward his doctorate. He also helped support his family financially, attorney Danielle De Smeth said.
The Sanchez family, like Oxnard police, is asking for the public to provide information, videos and photos of the incident to help identify the attackers.
“Misael’s family knows there were dozens, if not hundreds, of people who saw what happened to him … and they will ask those listening to be brave enough to come forward and share what they saw,” the Ventura County law firm Bamieh & De Smeth said in a statement.
According to the firm, witnesses said the brawl broke out after one of Sanchez’s teammates and a player from the opposing team began shoving each other.
Sanchez was reportedly pushed to the ground and kicked multiple times.
“By the time the crowd cleared, Misael was unresponsive,” the firm said.
In addition to piecing together the fight that killed Sanchez, De Smeth said the law firm is exploring potential issues with the league that hosted the match.
“We know that there had been violent attacks in this league before and that La Nueva Liga Oxnard’s status as a 501c3 nonprofit corporation has been suspended since 2020,” De Smeth said in the firm’s statement.
De Smeth told The Times that the league had a reputation for fights breaking out at matches. She said the firm was investigating whether rules, for both players and spectators, were being properly enforced by the league.