Local News

Services Held for Shaw Student Killed in Fall

Posted November 19, 1999

— AShaw Universitystudent who fell from a window and died Saturday night, was remembered by family, faculty and fellow students at a memorial service on the University campus Monday.

Antwon Merritt, 18, died after falling from an eighth-floor window about 10:15 p.m. and landing on a concrete awning.

Rescue crews transported Merritt toWakeMedwhere he was pronounced dead early Sunday morning.

The Shaw campus is shocked Merritt's death and by suspicions about what happened at the men's main dorm Saturday night.

Investigators want to know if Merritt's death was an accident or a crime. Merritt's family says they just want the facts.

"Will this be one of those unsolved mysteries?" asked Rev. Dr. Calvin Merritt, the victim's uncle. "Will this be a mystery at Shaw University or will justice prevail? Will we get answers... will we get justice?"

Dr. Talbert Shaw, president of Shaw University responded by saying "We are also in search of answers, and as president of this university, I promise you we will not cease until we find the answers."

Merritt was a freshman from Virginia who played the trumpet in the band at Saturday's homecoming game.

"The last time I saw him was at the game. He played for the pep band. He seemed happy and fine," said sophomore Richard McNeill.

"A lot of students' spirits are down because we're close like a family. Being that we're close, everybody feels it," said junior Virgil Greene.

ARaleigh Police Departmentreport says Merritt was assaulted on campus before he fell.

That report has been turned over to the District Attorney's Office to determine what charges, if any, will be filed in this case.

Talbert Shaw says it is too early to know exactly what happened in Room 802.

"The only thing that we can say for sure is that a young man fell out of a window. We cannot say if it is suicide. We cannot say that it is homicide. We do not know what the facts are," said President Talbert Shaw.

Merritt's death comes a week after astudy rated Shaw the 15th most dangerous university in the United States. That is a claim the University vigorously disputes. andMichelle Singer

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