Marquis “Jaylen” Brown died after jumping off of the 16th floor of Brottier Hall in Duquesne University on October 4. Brown was a junior in the McNulty College of Liberal Arts. The Duquesne Duke was the first to report on the death. Duquesne University is a private Catholic institution located in Pittsburgh. School President Ken Gormley expressed “great sadness” at the news of Brown’s death in a letter to students. Gormley added that a memorial service will be held for Brown on October 7. Brown was a sophomore at the school and a running back on the school’s football team. The school has said that foul play is not suspected in Brown’s death.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Brown Was Talking With Officers When He Made a Run for a 16th Floor Window
The Duke reports that police were called to the 16th floor of Brottier Hall on the night of October 4 at around 10:30 p.m. to investigate a disturbance report. While officers were speaking with Brown, he ran towards a nearby window and jumped out. Brown was rushed to UPMC Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
2. One of Brown’s Final Social Media Posts Read: ‘When My Story Is Told, How Will They Tell it?’
On September 21, Brown wrote in what turned out to be one of his final Instagram posts, “when my story’s told, how will they tell it?” The accompanying photo was taken in Hawaii. On his page, Brown refers to himself as a “Digital Creator.” Brown maintained a separate page for a graphics business named “JBGraphics202.”
3. Brown’s Death Occurred Before the School’s Homecoming Game
Brown’s death comes just before the school’s homecoming weekend which sees Duquesne face off against Bryant on October 6 at 1 p.m. In a statement, Head Coach Jerry Schmitt said, “The team met early this afternoon as a group and decided that the best way to honor JB’s memory is to play Saturday’s game as scheduled. We left the decision purely up to the team and made it clear that we would support them whether they chose to play or not. This has been a difficult day for everyone associated with our football program and the University as a whole. Above all, we continue to offer our thoughts and prayers to the Brown family.” While the school’s athletic director, Dave Harper, said, “We are all deeply saddened by the passing of Marquis Brown. Our prayers and efforts are focused on supporting his family, friends and teammates through this most difficult time.”
4. Brown Had Just Played His First Game for the School
According to Brown’s Duquesne profile, he was a 245 pound, 6-foot tall running back. Brown was a native of Washington D.C. and attended DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. Pittsburgh Sports Now reports that Brown had just played his first game for the school against Lock Haven this season.
5. One Senior Said She Wants the Student Body to ‘Link Together & Just Celebrate His Life’
Speaking to CBS Pittsburgh, a friend of Brown’s, Eric Williams Jr., said, “I just had saw him before I left to go to Brottier, he was at my apartment. I just saw him 30 or 40 minutes before. So it is just shocking… it’s crazy.” Another student, Julianne Herman, told WPXI, “Just super sad. Just someone like us. I mean, on campus too. I can’t even imagine looking at that window right now.” Another senior, Julian Leberg, told the station, “I just think we should all just kind of link together and just celebrate his life. I hope his family can get through this. It’s never good to bury a child. I wish the best to his family and friends and hope they’ll get through this tough time.”