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Marine on leave played a role in death of Emerson College student, Corps says

Daniel Hollis. Hollis family photo/Courtesy of the Hollis Family

A Marine visiting Boston on leave played a role in the death of Emerson College student Daniel J. Hollis, who was fatally injured last month during an altercation in Allston, the Marine Corps said Tuesday.

“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 Marine Corps said in a 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.”


Military officials did not identify the Marine, who has not been arrested, but said they would provide an update “once the Marine is in custody.” The Marine has not returned to regular duties, said First Lieutenant Cameron Edinburgh, a spokesman with the First Marine Division.

Hollis was fatally injured on Sept. 28 after a reported assault around 1:30 a.m. on Park Vale Avenue. He died a few days later from blunt force head injuries, according to his death certificate, and his death is being treated as a homicide. He was 19.

Hollis’s mother, Jennifer Kelly, has written on the website CaringBridge that her son and his friends were leaving an off-campus 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,” Kelly wrote.

No arrests have been made, and investigators have appealed to the public for information. Representatives for the Boston Police Department and Suffolk district attorney’s office declined to comment Tuesday, citing the ongoing investigation.

Hollis, who was from Mendon, graduated from Hopedale Junior and Senior High School last year. He served as class secretary for six years, played hockey and golf, and was captain of the lacrosse team, according to a death notice. He was also playing lacrosse at Emerson.


“Daniel was many things — student, athlete, leader, artist, music-lover, friend. He was just 19 years old and only beginning to experience the world around him,” the death notice read. “He looked forward to traveling abroad and expanding his creative pursuits through clothing design and marketing. While often receiving recognition for his play on the field or ice, it was the camaraderie of the team that Dan most loved about sports. For Daniel, life was about relationships and enjoying experiences with others.”

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

Travis Andersen, Michael Levenson, Danny McDonald, and Gal Tziperman Lotan of the Globe staff contributed to this report. John R. Ellement can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.