Published: October 31, 2012
No evident of hazing in UNC-CH student’s death, police say
From staff reports
CARRBORO — Carrboro police say they have no evidence that hazing was a factor in the death of a UNC-Chapel Hill freshman who suffered a fatal fall Saturday night.
David Palmer Shannon, 18, of Charlotte, fell off an elevated conveyor at the Ready Mixed Concrete Plant on Guthrie Lane. Other students looking for Shannon found him and called police at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, spokesman Lt. Chris Atack said.
Witnesses told police that Shannon was seen drinking alcohol Friday night and early Saturday morning, Atack said. He may have been alone at the plant and appears to have fallen from the machine to the concrete surface below, he said. Alcohol could have been involved, he said.
Police officials released a statement Tuesday saying, “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. It is not the primary focus, and there is no evidence at this time to suggest that hazing was a factor in Mr. Shannon’s death.”
Preliminary autopsy results found Shannon’s injuries were consistent with a fall. Police initially said he fell 17 feet, but further investigation revealed he fell from about 40 feet, the release said. Toxicology results are not available yet.
Police do not think foul play was involved and ask that anyone with information about Shannon’s whereabouts or activities before the accident call Lt. Anthony Westbrook at 919-918-7417.