Local News

Family Questions LAFD Response Time in Death of Teen During High School Soccer Game

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — As the family of Lakewood High School soccer player Jesus Zambrano prepares for his funeral, fire officials are investigating paramedics’ response time on the day Zambrano died.

Zambrano, 16, suffered chest pains, then collapsed during a soccer game at Wilmington Middle School last Sunday.

Los Angeles Fire Department officials defended their side of the story at a press conference on friday, saying that paramedics received numerous 911 calls with conflicting information about the school’s address — delaying their response by several minutes.

“We received multiple calls with conflicting addresses,” said Deputy Chief David Yamahata on Friday. “As it relates to this response, LAFD resources made contact 15 minutes after the call. This was largely due to getting the wrong address.”

Team officials say it was 17 minutes before responders arrived on scene, and by that time, Zambrano’s conditioned worded.

“Throughout the whole time I was questioning where they were,” said Nelson Rivas, who coached Jesus’ Liverpool soccer team in an interview with the Daily Breeze. “We told them it was Wilmington Middle School and that should be easy to find.”

“It’s very visible,” the coach said. “There’s only one middle school in Wilmington. I don’t know why they would be confused.”

Friends and family at the game say the teen, who played in several neighborhood soccer leagues, suffered from pains as he was playing and walked to the side of the field, holding his chest before he stopped breathing and collapsed.

Jesus’ father performed CPR as the coach and others called for an emergency response.

Paramedics arrived and transported him to the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Harbor City, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy was performed, but coroners officials say the cause of Zambrano’s death was not yet known, pending further tests.

Viewing is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Funeraria del Angel McNerney’s Mortuary, Wilmington. Services are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday at the mortuary.