Update, 2:54 p.m. Feb. 6: Though this incident was previously thought to have occurred Friday night into Saturday morning, the State College Police Department confirmed the incident actually occurred Thursday night, February 2, at media briefing Monday afternoon.
When patrol officers responded to a call from Beta Theta Pi fraternity at 10:49 a.m. on Friday, February 3, Penn State student Timothy Piazza was unconscious. Police were told Piazza attended a party at the fraternity Thursday night and fell down the basement steps around 11 p.m.
An ambulance transported Piazza to Mt. Nittany Medical Center Friday morning; he was later flown to Hershey Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead Saturday morning by the Dauphin County coroner. Piazza’s autopsy will occur in Dauphin County.
Because the incident is still under active investigation, police cannot provide any additional information at this time. Police said fraternity members are cooperating with the ongoing investigation and the department is obtaining video from inside the fraternity. Police are also working closely with Penn State Student Affairs.
“As we’re able to share more information, we certainly will do so.”
Update, 4:05 p.m.: State College Police refused to release any information about the incident at media briefing, citing an ongoing investigation, and claimed to not be aware the student passed away despite already being confirmed by Penn State and the IFC.
“The statement is there’s no statement,” a State College officer shared at briefing.
Timothy Piazza, a sophomore engineering student from Lebanon, NJ, passed away after injuries sustained from an alleged fall at Beta Theta Pi fraternity Friday night, according to Penn State Spokeswoman Lisa Powers. Piazza was a member of the fraternity.
State College Police responded to the incident and are still investigating. The Interfraternity Council canceled all social activities for this evening and will be observing a night of solidarity in place.
“The IFC has decided to observe a night of solidarity in light of this incident, and all social events scheduled for this evening are being canceled,” IFC President Alex Frederick said in a statement. “If anyone is in need of emotional support, we encourage them to reach out to the university’s Counseling and Psychological Services office at 814-863-0395. Our deepest condolences are with all of those affected by this tragedy”
Penn State issued a statement as well.
“Our deepest sympathy goes out to Tim’s family and friends during this mournful time,” Powers said in an email to Onward State. “Our Student Affairs staff through CAPS is reaching out to students who desire counseling. Anyone who feels they need assistance should not hesitate to contact CAPS.”
We’ll update this story with more information as it becomes available. Our thoughts go out to Timothy’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time.