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Suspected Meningitis Death Still Being Probed

Posted April 11, 2008
Updated April 12, 2008

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— Police say they are now investigating the death of a North Carolina Central University student who collapsed at a Creedmoor group home Monday night.

Creedmoor Police Chief Tim Benware said Friday that witness statements about the death of Canon Tyrell Fuller have led investigators to look into an assault involving him at Will's Place, a group home at 313 Park Ave. Fuller was employed there.

A search warrant indicates investigators believe two residents assaulted him less than 24 hours before his death.

The 21-year-old never regained consciousness after the collapse. He died Tuesday morning.

Benware said the State Bureau of Investigation has been asked to investigate. At this point, he said, police are not ruling out the possibility of a homicide.

"Any time you have a death involved, you have to follow the steps as if it could potentially turn into a homicide," Benware said.

Public health officials have said they are looking at whether Fuller had meningitis and are awaiting results of an autopsy. Results from an earlier exam were inconclusive. Students have been offered antibiotics as a precaution.

Will's Place is licensed as a residential facility for children and adolescents who are mentally ill or emotionally disturbed, Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Jim Jones said.

A man who answered the door there Friday identified himself only as a supervisor and said the staff is cooperating with investigators.

Fuller, a history major, was a senior from Lincolnton who was also a resident advisor at an off-campus student apartment complex and a volunteer at his local church. He would have graduated next month.

His funeral is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday in Cherryville at Zion Hill Baptist Church, where his father is a pastor.

14 Comments

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  • At Work Apr 14, 2008

    Yet another person with such a bright future to pass on. It sounds that this young man was a very helpful and respectful guy and for something to happen to a kind person is terrible.

  • PikeMom4real Apr 11, 2008

    Someone with such a bright future taken from the world too soon.Makes you wonder why the good one's have to leave only to let the bad survive and keep adding nothing to society.

  • stand_up Apr 11, 2008

    I hope what this story implies is not true--that he died as the result of an injury done unto him by those he was trying to aid.

  • ranquick Apr 11, 2008

    Once again the media is reporting something before knowing the facts.

  • djofraleigh Apr 11, 2008

    He was more giving than I was at that age or this.

    Cherryville is a beautiful little town. May he rest in peace and may the truth come out.

  • jackadoo Apr 11, 2008

    Sounds like we lost a good man, and role model. So sad.

  • uncalumni02 Apr 11, 2008

    Such a tragedy...just one more month before graduation :(

  • gto77 Apr 11, 2008

    First he died of meningitis...Now it could be a homicide...What's really going on?

  • Why Is My Slim Physique Envied Apr 11, 2008

    It doesn't take that long for the meningitis test results to come in and if the first was inconclusive, he probably did not die from that. RIP

  • Cheeksgirl Apr 11, 2008

    My heartfelt condolences to his family. Another Eagle has been lost. It is so sad to read about all of these young college students that are being killed or passing away from some other cause. I know you are not to question why......but I have to.

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