FAMU Drum Major Death Ruled a Homicide

Robert Champion's death was the result of blunt-force trauma, says the medical examiner.


The Orange County Medical Examiner's office in Florida has ruled the death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion a homicide.

The startling news was announced earlier today, and we now wait to see if the state attorney will file charges against the students responsible for his death.

The report states that Champion "collapsed and died within an hour of a hazing incident during which he suffered multiple blunt trauma blows to his body." He had bruises to his arm, chest and body. Champion was found unconscious in a parking lot on Nov. 19 after a university football game. After vomiting and complaining about loss of breath, he was taken to the hospital. He died upon arrival.

His death uncovered a series of hazing incidents at the college, including a recent one in which a female student was allegedly hazed by three male students.

Below is the news release from the Orange County Sheriff:

DATE OF DEATH: November 19, 2011


CAUSE OF DEATH: Hemorrhagic shock due to soft tissue hemorrhage due to blunt force trauma sustained during a hazing incident.

CONCLUSION: Mr. Robert Champion, a previously healthy 26-year-old member of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University marching band, collapsed and died within an hour of a hazing incident during which he suffered multiple blunt trauma blows to his body.

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. These symptoms are consistent with hypotension or shock. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation ensued with aspiration of stomach contents into his airway.

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