FOXBORO - The death of a Patriots fan during a game at Gillette Stadium on Sunday is under investigation by State Police and the Norfolk District Attorney's office. The man who died has been identified as 53-year-old Dale Mooney of Newmarket, New Hampshire.
Mooney's wife said he was a great dad with a big heart and wouldn't do anything to hurt anyone.
A witness said taunting between fans suddenly turned violent. "It is sad and unfortunate," said witness Joe Kilmartin.
Mooney, a father of two sons and lifelong Patriots fan died after an incident at the place he loved to cheer on his team.
Officials say the season ticket holder had a "medical incident", but witnesses say it started with a fight.
"It was kind of rowdy because you don't realize that somebody is about to die," Kilmartin said.
The Pats were trying to make a comeback in the fourth quarter, when witnesses say the victim and a Miami Dolphins fan had been exchanging words a few rows behind them in a 300s section.
"By the fourth quarter it had just kind of come to blows," Kilmartin said.
Joe Kilmartin says he recorded video of some verbal confrontations then the victim is violently knocked unconscious. The video is too graphic to show.
"Then you saw a fan deliver two punches to the victim, a Dolphins fan, he was wearing a Dolphins jersey, and the victim just kind of slumped over at that point in his seat," Kilmartin said.
Another witness, who did not want to be identified, also described an altercation.
"At one point one came down to the other one's row and it got more physical, just pushing and shoving, grabbing jerseys or whatever, but I only saw one punch, but I definitely saw the punch and the gentleman was knocked out in one punch, it was a pretty vicious punch," the witness said.
At least three first responders tried to revive him for 10 minutes.
"Usually after 30 seconds they're going to wake up and he just didn't move and about two minutes went by and I think that's when everyone figured out that there was an issue," Kilmartin said.
Dale Mooney was rushed to an Attleboro hospital, but he was pronounced dead.
"He kind of looked lifeless leaving, it was definitely sad, nobody goes to the game to witness a fight like that," Kilmartin said.
Massachusetts State Police said investigators are looking into "facts and circumstances of the man's death, including the sequence of events prior to the medical incident."
An autopsy is expected to be performed to determine Mooney's cause of death. No charges have been filed.
"It's such a senseless way and it could have been avoided by all parties," Kilmartin said.
for more features.