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What we know about the Allston incident that led to an Emerson student’s death


Several days after suffering a brain injury during a weekend fight outside an off-campus party in Allston, 19-year-old Emerson College student Daniel Hollis died Wednesday night, leading to heartbreak for his family and grieving on the campus.

Here’s what is known so far about the case.

What happened in Allston

According to police, Hollis was fatally injured during an altercation near 15 Park Vale Ave. in Allston around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 28.

When Boston police responded to a report of an assault and battery, they found Hollis — unconscious and bleeding from the head. He was taken to the hospital, officials said.


Hollis’s mother, Jen Kelly, wrote on CaringBridge.org Sunday that her son and his friends were leaving a party when they were “confronted by another group of college-aged boys.”

“Words were exchanged, pushing/shoving started, and in the scuffle, we believe Dan was hit and subsequently hit his head on cement/bricks as he fell,” she wrote. “He was brought to a local Boston hospital and was diagnosed with a blood clot on his brain requiring immediate surgery.”

No further information on the incident was immediately available from police, and no arrests had been made as of early Thursday night.

Park Vale Avenue is located in a part of Allston that is especially popular among college students and young professionals, as it sits close to the T, the 57 bus, and a slew of bars and restaurants on Brighton, Harvard, and Commonwealth avenues.

Hollis’s days in the hospital

Hollis was unresponsive when he arrived at the hospital Saturday and was placed in a medically induced coma, Kelly wrote.

At first, Hollis’s family seemed positive about his chances, writing that they had been playing him music, “and he seems to be really enjoying it.”


They also said they were putting photo collages on the wall of his hospital room “so it’s the first thing he sees when he wakes up.”u

“Dan remains stable and calm. The nurses are impressed with how much better he is today,” his mother wrote on Sunday, adding that “while he is nowhere close to being out of the woods, he is improving.”

However, his diagnosis ended up being more dire. In a subsequent update posted Monday, Kelly wrote that Hollis had suffered “extensive and unrepairable damage to large sections of his brain.”

“Due to the damage to his brain stem, he will not regain consciousness,” she wrote.

“Additionally, there is damage to areas of the brain that control body functions such as breathing and his heart. He will not be able to sustain life, even with the aid of life support systems.”

He was pronounced dead at 5:32 p.m. Wednesday, his mother posted on CaringBridge.org. According to an obituary posted by Buma Funeral Homes, he died “with his family by his side.”

Who Hollis was

Hollis, an Emerson College sophomore , was a goalie on the Emerson lacrosse team, his family said.

Emerson College sophomore Dan Hollis played ice hockey in high school and was known for his big smile - both on and off the ice.STEVE BASSIGNANI

He was a marketing communication major enrolled in the class of 2022 who originally hailed from Mendon.

He also was an organ donor, his family said.

“True to his caring and giving nature, Daniel chose to be an organ donor. We pray that his gifts will prevent other families from experiencing the heartbreak we are currently experiencing,” his family wrote.


He is survived by his mother, his father, Jason, and his older sister, Kate, according to the college.

Hollis graduated from Hopedale Junior Senior High School, where he played not only lacrosse but also ice hockey.

The hockey coach there, Greg LaBossiere, said Hollis was upbeat and friendly, and always brought a smile to the locker room.

“He was the ultimate teammate,” he said. “One of his strengths was bringing that positive energy wherever he went.”

LaBossiere said he has known Hollis since he was in the eighth grade, when he played junior varsity, and watched him evolve and become an assistant captain of the varsity team.

He said Hollis not only earned the respect of his teammates but also of players on opposing teams. “It says a lot about how he played,” he said.

Steve Bassignani, a local photographer who shoots high school sporting events, described Hollis as a “great kid.”

After a Thursday vigil at Emerson College, Eric Moxim, Hollis’s high school lacrosse coach, said, “We’re all missing a beautiful young man.”

Eric Moxim, Daniel Hollis’s high school lacrosse coach.NIC ANTAYA FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Moxim said Hollis was affectionate.

“He was a hugger,” Moxim said. “He would put his head on your shoulder. I found myself in there going, ‘If Dan was here at that event, he would have spent the whole time making sure everyone else felt right.’ ”

According to his obituary, Hollis served as class secretary at Hopedale Junior Senior High School for six years.


He was a “student, athlete, leader, artist, music-lover, friend,” his obituary said: “He was just 19 years old and only beginning to experience the world around him.”

What’s next

Boston police issued a public appeal Thursday for witnesses to contact them about the incident.

“The Boston Police Department continues to actively review the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident,’’ the department posted on bpdnews.com Thursday. “Anyone with information is strongly urged to contact Boston Police Homicide Detectives.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, the Marine Corps acknowledged that a US Marine on leave played a role in the death of Hollis.

“We are deeply saddened to learn that an off-base incident allegedly involving one of our Marines has led to the passing of a man in the Boston community,’’ the Corps said in the statement. “The event occurred during an approved leave period for the Marine, in the early hours of September 28, 2019. This is a tragic event and is being treated with great care and solemnity on the part of the command.”

No arrests have been made, but the Marines appeared to expect the member of their force who was involved will soon be taken into custody. The corps promised an update following his arrest.

The cause of Hollis’s death was blunt force head injuries, according to his death certificate; the manner of death was homicide.

A memorial service for Hollis is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 13, at the Faith Community Church in Hopkinton, according to his obituary. Visiting hours are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Buma-Sargeant Funeral Home in Milford.


Two women embraced outside of the Tufte Building after the vigil for Emerson College sophomore Daniel Hollis in Boston on Thursday.NIC ANTAYA FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Emily Sweeney, Danny McDonald, John R. Ellement, and Michael Levenson of the Globe staff contributed to this report.