Press Release: Initially Thought To Be An Apparent Suicide, UC Berkeley Fraternity Death May Be Accidental, Police Say

From Sgt. Mary Kusmiss, Berkeley Police Department Public Information Office
Thursday September 30, 2010 - 08:30:00 PM

At approximately 3:11 a.m. on Friday, September 24th 2010, a 24 year old fraternity member was found unresponsive in his room in the 2400 block of Warring Street by another member and called the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Communications Center 911 line. BPD officers and two Sergeants went to the scene and found the young man with a gunshot wound to the head. Berkeley Fire Department (BFD) Paramedics pronounced the student dead at the scene. A preliminary investigation by officers and evidence at the scene lead the Officers to the conclusion that the young man was the victim of a suicide. There were no outward indications and/or evidence of foul play. The Alameda County Coroner deputies arrived that morning to take custody of the student's body and evidence. 


The death investigation is now in the hands of the Alameda County Coroner’s Office. BPD must wait for the Coroner’s report to determine the actual method of death. This process takes some time. There is a possibility that the death was accidental. This is an active, ongoing investigation.  


Due to the sensitive nature of this incident, and the fact that immediate and extended family and friends need to be notified of his death, BPD did not share the young man’s name or the exact name of the fraternity until all those processes take place. Naming the Fraternity could have unduly scared family and friends of those other members of the Fraternity that live around the state and country. BPD always honors this approach. 


These are the only details we are sharing. 


Thank you for your understanding.