Miguel Martinez, a 14-year-old West Texas boy, was killed after he impaled himself on the horns of one of the bull statues on the Texas Tech University campus during a game of hide-and-seek over the weekend.
Texas Tech police investigating the incident said Miguel accidentally ran into the statue and his chest was impaled on the horns at the university’s main campus in Lubbock, Tex., early Saturday morning.
Judith Leseberg, Miguel’s mother, told Lubbock NBC affiliate KCBD that she still can’t believe her son died in such a tragic way.
"I'm still in shock ... just shock," Leseberg said. “"He just happened to trip over one of the lights. I guess he lost his balance and he went straight down on one of the horns. It's hard for all of us. No mother expects this to happen to their child."
Miguel was playing hide-and-seek with his best friend, identified only as Jeremy. When Jeremy saw his friend impaled on the Texas Tech bull statue, he rushed to aid Miguel.
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"I just laid there beside him," Jeremy told KCBD. "I put my jacket over him and just held him tight and told him I loved him. He was like a big brother to me."
Miguel was sleeping over Jeremy’s family home when the best friends decided to go for a walk near the National Ranching Heritage Center museum, which is situated on Texas Tech’s Lubbock campus and features bull statues.
By the time authorities arrived on the scene, two adults were with Miguel and Jeremy, according to the Associated Press. It’s unclear if the adults were with the youths when the accident occurred.
Memorials to Miguel have sprung up by the statues since his death over the weekend.
"A couple of family members had a hard time with it," his mother said. "There was anger. But they put their heads together and realized this is for their brother, and this is a time to hold on to each other."
The family is organizing fund-raisers to help pay for Miguel’s burial, according to KCBD.
"It's a blessing to see everyone come out and help, especially for me," Leseberg said. "I know Miguel had a lot of friends who looked up to him. As he came into this world I tried to give him the best I could as a mother of nine. Now I want him to have the best going out."