Security guard dies breaking up fight at Thornwood H.S. - FOX 32 News Chicago

Well-liked security guard dies breaking up fight at Thornwood H.S.

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(Craig Wall/Fox 32) (Craig Wall/Fox 32)
Richard Cowser, 54. (Photo courtesy of Thornwood High School) Richard Cowser, 54. (Photo courtesy of Thornwood High School)
SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

A Thornwood High School security guard died after breaking up a fight between two girls in South Holland Thursday afternoon.

Richard Cowser, 54, along with another security guard, attempted to break up the fight in the school hallway when he fell against a locker and was injured.

South Holland paramedics were called to help the guard, who was unconscious and having trouble breathing. Cowser was transported to Ingalls Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:33 p.m.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

South Holland police interviewed students involved in the fight and witnesses to gather more information about what happened. Students wrote to FOX 32 News, saying that the fight took place over jeans.

Chief Greg Baker said a decision on whether to file charges may depend on what caused Cowser's death. The incident remains under investigation.

Officials of District 205 refused to comment on the incident other than saying they are cooperating with police.

Cowser, of the 100 block of East 173rd Street in South Holland, was well-respected and well-loved by the Thornwood High School community. Students fondly nicknamed him "Hulk," after wrestler Hulk Hogan.

The community and high school staff mourned his death after they found out, and the news came as quite a shock. The school is holding parent-teacher conferences Friday and there is a football game on schedule.

The Sun-Times Media Wire and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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