Pullman police have identified the 19-year-old student who died at a Washington State University fraternity Tuesday morning as freshman Samuel Martinez, 19, of Bellevue.
The Whitman County Coroner has not released the cause and manner of death, but police said in a news statement released Tuesday that a preliminary investigation indicates the death may be alcohol related.
Medics and police were called to the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at about 8:35 a.m. Tuesday after Martinez was found unconscious and not breathing, according to the statement. Other fraternity members performed CPR until medics arrived and pronounced the teen dead.
Students are being offered support and counseling by WSU’s Office of the Dean of Students and a chaplain from the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office.
All fraternities and sororities at WSU have voluntarily suspended their social activities for the rest of the semester, WSU spokesman Phil Weiler said.
The death is among several at fraternities on the West Coast in recent weeks.
Dylan Hernandez, a 19-year-old freshman at San Diego State University, died after attending a fraternity party at the college last week.
Hernandez had been pledging Phi Gamma Delta, a fraternity that was placed on probation in 2017 “after being found in violation of regulations pertaining to alcohol at off-campus fraternity events,” according to the Daily Aztec, the student newspaper.
After Hernandez was hospitalized, SDSU President Adela de la Torre suspended 14 fraternities affiliated with the Interfraternity Council (IFC). All but three of those were suspended or under investigation before Hernandez’s death, de la Torre said; the university didn’t say why the other organizations had been suspended or investigated.
Evidence for a suspension can include discrimination, disorderly behavior, alcohol being served at sponsored events, drug use, the lack of insurance at a major event, and other violations of the student code, and de la Torre factored that information into her decision, the Southern California university said.
Todd Shelton, spokesman for the North American Interfraternity Conference, the parent organization of the council, said they have been in contact with university officials and are monitoring the investigation. He declined further comment on the suspensions.
Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.