Santa Monica High School students this week were grieving the death of classmate Matthew Mezza, who died in a bizarre incident Friday afternoon.
School officials and witnesses say the 14-year-old, a reported prankster, ran off the baseball field during on-campus team practice, entered the Sheraton Delfina hotel across the street, and dove 10 stories to his death.
Mezza apparently yelled at teammates that he was going to jump before running toward the hotel.
According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, some of his teammates gave chase only to lose sight of him and see his body come down.
Added: Santa Monica police Sgt. Jay Trisler told the Weekly that officers got the report of an apparent suicide in the 500 block of Pico Boulevard, across from Santa Monica High School, at 5:22 p.m. Friday.
It appeared the boy had jumped out of a 10th floor “window,” he said. Authorities weren't clear accessed the window.
The teen was reportedly pronounced dead at a hospital at 11 p.m.
Strangely, friends said Mezza was in good spirits that day.
“I saw him the day it happened,” freshman Stevie Lamb told the Daily Press, “and he seemed fine.”
Grief counselors were scheduled to be on campus when school resumes Tuesday.