Georgia State student jumps to his death from 26th floor of administrative building

25 Park Place is a 377-foot building at the center of Georgia State's Atlanta campus.

25 Park Place is a 377-foot building at the center of Georgia State's Atlanta campus.
25 Park Place is a school building at the center of Georgia State’s Atlanta campus which used to house SunTrust bank offices.

A Georgia State student killed himself Thursday afternoon by jumping from the 26th floor of 25 Park Place, a skyscraper which houses Georgia State’s advising center and offices for the college of arts and sciences.

The tragic incident rattled the Downtown student body and is now being probed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

“Some members of our community witnessed this terrible tragedy in front of 25 Park Place, at the heart of our campus,” said University President Mark Becker in an email to students and staff. He encouraged anyone affected by the traumatic happening to reach out to the university’s counseling offices.

No motive has been publicized, but Georgia State University Police Chief Carlton Mullis said cops will be checking out all potential leads, including possible camera footage and other evidence from the event, which took place in a deserted floor of the administrative building.

People inside the building said school officials cordoned off the entrances, keeping them inside as the scene was assessed by officers, according to student accounts and social media.

“The faculty and staff inside [the building] weren’t letting us out when it happened,” said Georgia State student Jennifer Hernandez. “When we were finally released, they told us to exit off of another floor so we couldn’t see what had happened.”

Campus police quickly arrived on scene to cover the body, but students roving around Woodruff Park had already stopped to gawk and speculate as to what transpired. School administrators and police encourage curious parties to avoid such speculation until official announcements are made.

Below are the telephone numbers of the school’s counseling services. Jahmeeliah Harker contributed reporting for this story.

Students can dial 404-413-1640 to reach the Georgia State Counseling and Testing Center.
Staff can call 404-413-3357 for help from the school’s counseling services.

44 Comments

  1. It makes me wonder if the student was planning suicide from the beginning. Considering this took place in the administrative building, should we assume they spoke with a counselor prior to this decision? Were they kicked out of school? Denied help with studies? Failing grades? My point is the scene of the crime can very well give you a motive if the other information lines up. I am sure they will look into the studies finances and grades to determine their individual motive.

    Or maybe this happen because they were already contemplating suicide from the beginning and knew the building would be empty at that time. Could even be a mental disorder and they suffered a hallucination so medical history is important as well. Hmm…

    This is truly baffaling to me and I wish the absolute most regards to the family. They are obviously dealing with a terrible incident and this is heart breaking. I wish we had the answers to why people do this so we can prevent it in the future. Breaks my heart that some people feel they have no way out other than death, but this highlights the lack of understanding in other peoples living situations. RIP. Best regards to your family, and I encourage those who witness to seek counseling to be safe.

    • Suicides typically have more than one motive. Not just one. A good question is “why 25 Park Place and not some other GSU building?” We should also take into consideration the time they committed suicide. Being it was around 3-4 pm there must not have been a lot of people hanging around 25 Park Place relative to the amount of people in other areas of downtown Atlanta. The student jumped out of the 26th floor which means it could have been at least planned out a couple of hours before it happened. Regards to this family and sorry for this terrible tragedy.

    • I honestly believe it had something to do with financial aid dropping people classes yesterday. I had a friend who will have all 5 of his classes dropped because he now owes 1200 by the 31st so I think that’s a factor to really consider because like you said he was in the administration building which means he could have been trying to get his schooling fixed and the staff didn’t give him the answer he wanted to hear

      • I totally had this cross my mind too, when researching this, I noticed an article that talked about the dropped classes coinciding with this date.

      • I agreed with your comment, my daughter is in her 3rd year, and every time we have any dealings with the Admin. and Financial office is a mess. A lot of time wasted and at the end they don’t give you any clear answer or solution to your problem. In my opinion they have the wrong people doing this type of jobs.

      • I can confirm that it had absolutely nothing to do with financial aid or being dropped from a class. I know the family, and this was not a concern.

      • I know this family very well. I ask that everyone please refrain from speculating. It’s a tragedy to say the least and the family is distraught. God bless them.

    • The mental health counseling is in a different building on the other side of campus. This is the advisor building for courses to take and such.

        • It’s really insensitive to call those who seek help with mental health, ‘mental’ . You might be surprised who you know who has sought help there! Attitudes like yours kept me from seeking help when I needed it for far longer than I should have.

          Seriously, anyone: if you feel the need to talk to someone, if you feel like visiting the counseling center could be helpful even in the smallest bit, make a visit. There is no shame in it. And, even if you might think ‘others problems’ are far worse and you don’t deserve the help ( as I thought about myself)–still stop in if you feel a need.

    • How about none of your business? Your last paragraph is fine …but really all the speculation at the beginning doesn’t help anyone. “Should we assume…?” you ask. NO. Assume nothing, and carry on with your life. Give the family and the GA State community some space and privacy to cope and deal with this.

    • “should we assume they spoke with a counselor prior to this decision” – No, counseling isn’t in this building.
      “Were they kicked out of school?” – Neither is any department that would do this.
      “Denied help with studies? Failing grades?” – There are some academic departments with their offices in this building, so I guess that’s not out of question.

      Really, it’s gauche to speculate, though.

    • Most suicides are planned. The thoughts were already there to begin with. If there is something going on, it only brung those thoughts closer to your thought process. Depression is a major disorder that has to be treated. This is so sad. It’s important that friends and families know the signs because the are pretty bold. I pray for the family and this poor individual. I also pray that if someone is reading this message having these same feeling they would contact national Suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Know that you are loved and not alone.

    • I know this family well. Please refrain from speculating as it serves no purpose. Prayers and support are needed at this time.

  2. It behooves us to investigate and see if the University, which on so many levels fails to function in a student-centered way (students being kicked out of their classes all through this term, for example) helped push someone over the edge. I recently saw students sobbing over this issue claiming intransigence from university officials particularly in Communication and other departments housed in 25 Park Place. It’s possibly time to wake up and do some hard digging on how students are treated.

  3. Many people who saw this incident has claim it was a pregnant student who was wearing a dress and jumped from the 26th floor, 11th window.

  4. God awful thing, to hear of a youngster committing suicide, were there not any signs?? Did the child speak with friends?? Did the parents have any idea?? Saddest thing I’ve ever heard…. so 💔 heartbreaking….. it’s not ever in God’s will for anyone to take their own life….. 🙏 wonder if the child was being bullied? That does happen a lot…..

    • Thanks Chris for posting this. I was getting ready to do the same but saw what you had posted.just wanted to let students know that SOS groups are available all over GA. The Link Counseling Center has several….this will help those left behind to share their pain with other families who have experienced this type of loss. I am saddened by this news.

    • The media avoids covering suicide stories, since many studies show that media coverage of suicides actually lead to an increase in the suicide rate. There’s no law on it but I guess it’s just an unspoken “rule” amongst news stations.

  5. My English professor (Dr. Malamud) sent around a note to all his students that I wanted to re-post.

    Subject: Thinking about a fellow student

    Hi all – Thursday’s tragic events have been tough for me to process, and I imagine they have been pretty difficult for you as well. I so much enjoy our T-Th late-morning conversations and explorations. This group is really one of the very best, sharpest, most engaged classes I have ever had, and usually on Thursday afternoons, after class is done for the week, I just like to spend the end of the day feeling buzzed thinking about everything we’ve been through in the last classes and looking forward to what we have ahead next week.

    A student’s death has disrupted this, and made it hard for me to focus on poems and novels. I’ll get my focus back, and I know you all will too, but I just wanted to acknowledge that it is tough, in the immediate moment, to concentrate on our work without mourning the very sad loss of life that happened among us. Even without something as shocking as this, this is always a tough time of year: lots of pressure, lots of work that needs to be done in the coming month, lots of plates to keep spinning in the air. I very much hope that this reminds us that we need other people’s help when we’re overwhelmed. Please talk to your friends, your family, your classmates, your professors, GSU’s counselors, or whoever else is around you if things start to seem too difficult (actually, BEFORE things start to seem too difficult).

    We are all here to help each other get through.

    There was a poem that I had wanted to talk about in class on Thursday, but we ran out of time. It’s the first poem in the magazine, Choricos, by Richard Aldington. I was very moved by the way it dealt with death — which is so hard to get past whenever it touches our lives — in a way that seemed to subdue its worst horrors and mellow it with the power of poetry. (One clever and simple way the poem helps us to get past it is simply by using the word “pass” and “passing” over and over — as if to insist that things will pass, will move on, move forward, in time, whether or not we think we have the power in ourselves, in a moment of grief and shock, to get past them.) This is perhaps Aldington’s most famous poem – he wrote it just before WWI began, and there are many reports of soldiers standing up and reading it in the trenches, invoking poetry as a balm for violence.

    The poem has a lot of anaphora in it – that’s a literary term that describes long lists of things, lots of additive details. Walt Whitman uses this technique prominently in his poetry to evoke the richness of the American landscape and people, and we see it here in all the lines that begin with “And”: I think Aldington’s point is to remind us of how many things there are, things that endure, even when death has taken something away. It’s a very soothing poem, considering what it’s about. The first stanza is pretty heavy with grief, but look at all the surprisingly comforting words and image as the poem goes on: singing, turning (turning back toward life, I think), healing winds, dew, fragrance, peace, lips of love, smiling, caressing, gentleness, knowing love. “The silence of beauty.” It’s a pretty powerful example of how poetry, words, ideas, can be invoked to help us understand and affirm the value of life even in a time of sorrow.

    Most importantly of all, this poem is choral (as the title tells us) — meaning that it is meant to be read, chanted, by a group of people speaking together in unison. The point of the classical chorus was that when an audience hears it (and when the chorus has been trained well and has practiced carefully, because it’s actually quite hard to get all the spoken voices perfectly in sync — much harder than when voices are singing even), it has the impact of an entire community saying one thing, affirming a kind of unity and power that helps to support those of us who might feel lonely, or alienated, or isolated. The chorus is meant to reinforce the idea that a functioning, supportive society is one that says important things with a common voice, and understands and believes things that sound good, sound right.

    Take care – RM

    C H O R I C O S

    The ancient songs
    Pass deathward mournfully.

    Cold lips that sing no more, and withered wreaths,
    Regretful eyes, and drooping breasts and wings—
    Symbols of ancient songs
    Mournfully passing
    Down to the great white surges,
    Watched of none
    Save the frail sea-birds
    And the lithe pale girls,
    Daughters of Okeanus.

    And the songs pass
    From the green land
    Which lies upon the waves as a leaf
    On the flowers of hyacinth ;
    And they pass from the waters,
    The manifold winds and the dim moon,
    And they come,
    Silently winging through soft Kimmerian dusk,
    To the quiet level lands
    That she keeps for us al l ,
    That she wrought for us all for sleep
    In the silver days of the earth’s dawning—
    Proserpina, daughter of Zeus.

    And we turn from the Kuprian’s breasts,
    And we turn from thee,
    Phoibos Apollon,
    And we turn from the music of old
    And the hills that we loved and the meads,
    And we turn from the fiery day,
    And the lips that were over sweet;
    For silently
    Brushing the fields with red-shod feet,
    With purple robe
    Searing the flowers as with a sudden flame,
    Death,
    Thou hast come upon us.

    And of all the ancient songs
    Passing to the swallow-blue halls
    By the dark streams of Persephone,
    This only remains :
    That we turn to thee,
    Death,
    That we turn to thee, singing
    One last song.

    O Death,
    Thou art an healing wind
    That blowest over white flowers
    Α-tremble with dew;
    Thou art a wind flowing
    Over dark leagues of lonely sea;
    Thou art the dusk and the fragrance;
    Thou art the lips of love mournfully smiling;

    Thou art the pale peace of one
    Satiate with old desires;
    Thou art the silence of beauty,
    And we look no more for the morning-
    We yearn no more for the sun,
    Since with thy white hands,
    Death,
    Thou crownest us with the pallid chaplets,
    The slim colourless poppies
    Which in thy garden alone
    Softly thou gatherest.

    And silently,
    And with slow feet approaching,
    And with bowed head and unlit eyes,
    We kneel before thee:
    And thou, leaning towards us,
    Caressingly layest upon us
    Flowers from thy thin cold hands,
    And, smiling as a chaste woman
    Knowing love in her heart,
    Thou sealest our eyes
    And the illimitable quietude
    Comes gently upon us.

    RICHARD ALDINGTON

    • Thank you for sharing this. Dr. Malamud, as always, has stated what everyone has needed to say in the best, most eloquent way.

  6. Please know there is help. 1-800-715-4225 Georgia Crisis and Access Line

    1-800-273-TALK
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

  7. I don’t believe it was suicides cause the whole window was not bust out just half of the window n when someone do suicides they don’t scream

  8. The death of this young student is a loss for all. John Donne reminds us we are not islands, but parts of one another. Death always cuts deepest when it occurs because one of us could find no reason to continue being a part of the whole. The death of hope is the saddest loss of of all.

  9. The death of this young student is a loss for all. John Donne reminds us we are not islands, but parts of one another. Death always cuts deepest when it occurs because one of us could find no reason to continue being a part of the whole. The death of hope is the saddest loss of all.

  10. The student was identified as a male. The male student was also found wearing a dress at the sight of his demise. Is it possible that the suicide was related to gender conflicts which appears to be at an all-time high among LGBT communities in America, especially transgenders?

  11. If it helps anyone, there will be a Memorial Mass celebrated for this student in the chapel (room 483) at the Student Center West at 12:15 pm today.

  12. Mental health professionals on college campuses have a responsibility to ensure that services that are available to students are visible and accessible. Launcing a PSA campaign directed towards the student body is a much needed effort.

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