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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Students at Duquesne University say they want answers about how their classmate died and they’re not satisfied with the response from university leaders.
The university says campus police were called to the 16th floor of Brottier Hall for a report of altercation on the night of Oct. 4. When they arrived, 21-year-old Marquis Brown, a junior, allegedly jumped out of a window.
Brown was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital and died a short time later.
Brown’s death is still under investigation.
According to a statement from Duquesne University, a group of approximately 70 people, including students and others from outside the campus, peacefully gathered on Rooney Field on Monday.
Students who knew Brown say they’re not getting any answers from the university, and they believe Brown’s mother and teammates deserve to know what happened.
“I definitely think that the mom deserves a full incident report as to what happened. I understand the whole toxicology thing takes time,” student Nakya Thomas said. “I think Duquesne should be more supportive for the football players. They don’t have any counseling, any grief counseling. It’s just kind of, they’ve just kind of been pushed to go back to work, school, football, and like, they just a lost a friend, a teammate.”
“They weren’t given a time to mourn, which has come from them multiple times. I’ve had personal encounters with many players where they have said that they have a lot of concerns about what happened. They personally don’t know what happened. They feel inept to give a response to the mom, but they’re also OK and they feel like they don’t have the voice or the power to demand answers,” student Sarah Gethers said.
Dr. Douglas K. Frizzell, vice president for student life at Duquesne University, sent the following message to the entire Duquesne student body Monday:
“It has been a month now since tragedy struck our own campus with the death of our student-athlete Marquis Jaylen Brown. The University continues to mourn his loss and to offer its deepest sympathies and prayers for his family, friends, teammates, coaches and all members of the Duquesne community.
We know that you are anxious to understand the details of this heartbreaking incident. The University is equally anxious to learn what led to the loss of this wonderful student. This Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, who have been investigating this tragedy from the outset, have informed us that to get toxicology and other reports back from investigators could take as much as 6-8 weeks or longer. It is difficult to be patient in situations such as this, however, we also understand that we must allow the authorities the time they need to do their work thoroughly in order to provide meaningful answers. The University continues to cooperate in every way and asks anyone with relevant information to do the same by contacting the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police at 412.323.7800.”
Duquesne University says the school and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police have shared information with the Brown family while the police investigation remains active.
Meanwhile, Brown’s mother has hired an attorney and they say they are considering filing a lawsuit.