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

Posted at 9:19 AM, Nov 30, 2021

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The death of a 20-year-old University of Nevada, Las Vegas student after an amateur "fight night" has been ruled a homicide, a spokesman confirmed Monday.

The Clark County spokesman 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 the "Kappa Sigma Fight Night" at the Sahara Events Center on Nov. 19, his girlfriend told KTNV. He later 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.

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."

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said its officers "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 KTNV.

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."

This story was originally published by staff at KTNV.