South Carolina fifth-grader Raniya Wright, who passed away last month after a fight at her elementary school, died as a result of a ruptured blood vessel in her brain that stemmed from a birth defect, according to prosecutors.
District Solicitor Duffie Stone told reporters Raniya’s death will be attributed to natural causes in a report next week and no criminal charges will be filed in the case. “There was no evidence of trauma on or inside the body of Raniya Wright that would indicate that any fight in any magnitude contributed to her death,” Stone said at a news conference.
The determination was made after pathologists conducted postmortem tests at the Medical University of South Carolina. They discovered Raniya’s brain had an “arteriovenous malformation,” or AVM, which is tangling of vessels connecting arteries and veins that disrupts normal blood flow. This results in surrounding tissues not getting enough oxygen, and affected vessels can rupture.
Colleton County Sheriff R.A. Strickland said Raniya was involved in a “five to 10 second slap fight” with another student in the classroom and a teacher separated them. He said Raniya had no sign of nor spoke of any injury but complained of a headache about 10 minutes later in the principal’s office.
Authorities said she then lost consciousness and medics took her to a local hospital before transferring her to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where she died.
AVM apparently caused headaches that Reniya reportedly received treatment for. Stone said the rupture was ready to take place “just about any time,” and the “fight did not have anything to do with her passing away.”
Stone said Raniya visited a doctor at least six times for headaches since February 2017, including 13 days before the fight.
“The headaches are a manifestation of the condition. It was a matter of time.”
Margie Pizarro, an attorney for Raniya’s mother, Ashley Wright, said the family was unaware of the 10-year-old’s condition.