Carrboro Police Probing Student's Death From Fall

Carrboro police say hazing is “not the primary focus, and there is no evidence at this time to suggest that hazing was a factor” in the death of a UNC student from a fall over the weekend.

A statement released Tuesday by the Carrboro Police Department said David Shannon, a freshman from Charlotte, appears to have fallen about 40 feet from equipment at a concrete plant in the town early Saturday morning. The statement said preliminary autopsy reports are consistent with such a fall. The police report was an apparent response to media reports that have suggested Shannon’s death was being investigated as a hazing incident.

Lt. Chris Atack told The Daily Tar Heel that Shannon was found about 90 feet from where he landed. Media reports said Shannon was found Saturday night by a group of UNC students who were searching for him. The reports said that witnesses said Shannon had been drinking alcohol on Friday night. The police statement said toxicology reports were not available.

Students packed the Great Hall in the Student Union Monday night for a vigil for Shannon, who was reported to have been a church group leader, camp counselor, football player and winner of several competitions for DECA, an international organization for marketing students, while at Myers Park High School in Charlotte.

“Some media reports have suggested that Mr. Shannon’s death is being investigated as a hazing incident,” the police statement said. “As part of any death investigation, all elements of the case are being examined. Hazing, in light of Mr. Shannon’s fraternity membership and the timing of the conclusion of the pledge process, has been one avenue that this investigation has explored.”

Shannon was reported to be near completion of the pledge process for the Chi Phi fraternity.

Carrboro police asked that anyone with information about Shannon’s whereabouts or activities since Friday evening call (919) 918-7417.

Shannon is the second student to die this semester. Chapel Hill police have not released details of the homicide investigation of the death of junior Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, whose body was found in her apartment Sept. 7.

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