CHICO, Calif. --Friends and family are offering prayers for a Mountain View High School graduate who is in a coma in a California hospital after an attack Saturday night.
High school football star and Vancouver, Wash. native Tyler Burton, 21, was punched by a stranger and hit his head on the concrete while walking from a Halloween party in Chico, Calif.
KGW spoke with one of Burton's closest friends who set up a Facebook page to update the community on his condition.
She wasn't expecting a big response, but now, prayers for Burton are coming from people in the neighborhood and far from it.
Two years ago, best friend Christina Van Delden was the varsity cheerleader, and Tyler Burton was the running back.
Burton went on to play football at Shasta College in Redding, Calif., but he won’t be playing in Saturday’s game. Instead, he’s in the fight for his life.
“I was at every game cheering him on,” Van Delden said. “He is in a deep coma, medically induced to try to reduce brain pressure. He’s holding on to life. We are all praying for him and sending him positive thoughts. We know Tyler’s a fighter and he’s not going to give up easy."
Police say Burton was with college friends at Halloween parties in Chico Saturday when they ran into violence.
“We came to a narrow sidewalk, and just a quick misunderstanding of something and we thought it was fine. They kept walking past us and all of a sudden they turned around and started conflict and things just happened really quick," said Ethan Fernandez.
Police say a man punched Burton who then fell and hit his head on the concrete.
Hundreds of friends and strangers have turned to the Facebook page Van Delden created for Burton. Her phone--never far away--is her connection to the California hospital where he recovers.
KGW reporter Reggie Aqui contributed to this report.