Police Say Shaw Student Jumped Out Window But Did Not Commit Suicide
Posted November 21, 1999
RALEIGH — Police say a Shaw University student jumped six stories to his death, but the case is not being ruled a suicide.
The investigation is now in the hands of the district attorney who will decide if criminal charges will be filed.
Police say 18-year-old Antwon Merritt jumped six stories to his death Saturday but did not commit suicide.
So, what did happen? That is what Merritt's mom wants to know.
"I feel that somebody must know something," Brenda Merritt said.
She wants to know why her son plunged from his 8th floor dorm room window to his death six floors below on a concrete ledge.
"I'm told my son may have jumped out of a window, but I don't believe that. My son had no reason to jump out the window," Merritt said.
However, police say he did jump, and he may have had a reason.
"Earlier in the day, the victim in this case, Mr. Merritt, had been involved in an altercation with another individual," Raleigh Police Capt. Mike Longmire said.
Longmire says Merritt had a fight with another man on a basketball court Saturday afternoon.
"At some point that evening, family and friends of that individual went to his room, and there was a confrontation. During that confrontation, Mr. Merritt went out the window," Longmire said.
Longmire says the investigation shows that Merritt was not suicidal.
"However, there were circumstances involved in this incident that may have caused him to choose to leave his room by way of the window," Longmire said.
Merritt's mother said the tragedy may have never happened if Shaw University officials had tighter security and more secure windows.
Longmire said that as many as four people confronted Merritt in his dorm room Saturday night.
Investigators have handed their case to the district attorney. He will decide what, if any charges, those individuals will face.