An NYU freshman fell 15 floors from the roof of his dormitory to his death early Monday morning after ingesting a dose of hallucinogenic mushrooms say police. The 18 year old freshman, Titan Lee-Hai, is said to have been completely naked when he pulled the fire alarm and acsended to the roof. Lee-Hai plummeted to his death shortly after.
It was at 3:20 a.m. in the East Village when Lee-Hai was tragically killed, only hours before the start of the first day of classes.
Lee-Hai was pronounced dead on arrival after he was taken to Bellevue hospital.
It is still unclear whether Lee-Hai had jumped or accidentally fell from the roof of the building.
According to reports, a fellow freshman, Shazim Khurshid, had seen Lee-Hai only moments before the incident. Khurshid said he was in the elevator when Lee-Hai entered- fully naked- and seemingly intoxicated on drugs.
“He looked like he was on drugs, a lot of drugs,” said Khurshid. Recalling the incident, Khurshid said Lee-Hai had asked him where he was. Khurshid told reporters that he didn’t respond, and shortly after Lee-Hai “punched (him) in the face.”
Khurshid said he reported the incident to security, and that was when the sound of the alarms went off. The alarm automatically unlocks every door, which is presumably how Lee-Hai got to the roof of the building. Moments later, his body was found by school authorities in the interior courtyard in the residence hall where he lived.
NYU spokesman John Beckman made a statement saying “It appears as though his death occured as a result of a fall from the roof of the building.”
Individuals close with Titan Lee-Hai said he was a positive and upbeat kid, and was never a trouble. An aspiring rap artist, Titan Lee-Hai had his band Trizzykidd, which garnished over 5,500 likes on Facebook.
Lee-Hai who was from Trinidad and Tobago, was majoring in liberal studies at NYU and was a “good kid,” by all accounts.
“He wasn’t a troubled kid,” said a young woman who asked to remain anonymous. “It was a bad trip. He was alone, just chillin’.”
Still officials at the school are saying that substance abuse on campus is a serious matter and that an investigation into Lee-Hai’s activities before the incident needs to be taken very seriously.
Starting a new semester, NYU students who were interviewed say that the incident has people “really shook up.” and that measures should be taken to prevent another tragedy like this from happening on campus.
Meanwhile the school has also offered counseling services for students affected by Lee-Hai’s untimely death, saying that a death among the NYU student body can be stressful on other students.
While hallucinogenic mushrooms themselves aren’t necessarily harmful, the mental effects can be. Vivid and wild hallucinations in those users who abuse the substance can produce uncontrollable urges to put oneself in harm’s way as Lee-Hai did when he leaped off the roof of the NYU dorm. Researchers say while more studies into the effects of hallucinigens like Mushrooms needs to be taken, a user should never be left alone while under the influence.
by John Amaruso