The Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner's Office has ruled the death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion a homicide, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Champion, a 26-year-old member of FAMU’s “Marching 100,” died on Nov. 19 following a football game, after vomiting and complaining he couldn’t breathe.
In a statement, the medical examiner said his death was "the result of hemorrhagic shock due to soft tissue hemorrhage, incurred by blunt force trauma sustained during a hazing incident."
According to The Associated Press:
The medical examiner's report states Champion collapsed and died within an hour of a hazing incident. His body showed signs of multiple blows to his chest, arms, shoulders and back, as well as extensive internal bleeding.
"Immediately after the hazing incident, he complained of thirst and fatigue; minutes later, he noted loss of vision and soon after had a witnessed arrest," the report said, according to the AP.
The autopsy also found no natural cause for Champion's death, including disease, sickle cell trait, drugs or alcohol, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The results of the autopsy confirmed sheriff’s investigators’ suspicions that hazing caused Champion’s death, and they said they would meet with the State Attorney's Office to determine whether criminal charges will be filed, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
A band member told CNN that Champion may have died after a band ritual called "crossing Bus C,” when members "walk from the front of the bus to the back of the bus back backward while the bus is full of other band members, and you get beaten until you get to the back."
Champion's mother, Pamela, told the Orlando Sentinal late Friday that she's "still trying to come to terms and absorb" the information contained in the report.
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