Florida State University pledge's death sparks investigation, suspension of fraternity

(ABC News) -- The death of a fraternity pledge at Florida State University has sparked a police investigation and the suspension of the fraternal organization's local chapter, officials said.
 
The student, 20-year-old Andrew Coffey, was found Friday morning around 10:23 a.m. ET after the Tallahassee Police Department received a call about an unresponsive person at a home on Buena Vista Drive.
 
Coffey was pronounced dead at the scene, and an investigation into his death is ongoing, police said.
 
A high school friend of the late college student described him as a smiling, spirited young man.
 
"[There] was never a day during high school when Andrew didn't have a smile from ear to ear," Dominic Potts told ABC News. "Coffey ... always had a positive and warm spirit." he said since back when they first met in a statistics course.
 
Coffey flourished in academics, Potts said.
 
"Anything related to the mathematical or science area, Andrew was the man," Potts said.
 
"We are overwhelmed with sadness any time we learn of the death of one of our students, and the FSU family provides extensive outreach to their family and friends as they mourn the loss of a young life," Amy Hecht, vice president for student affairs at Florida State University, said in a statement obtained by ABC News. "We do not yet have details surrounding the passing today of student Andrew Coffey, but we will work closely with the Tallahassee Police Department as it investigates to determine the facts surrounding this case."
 
'An oath of silence': The secret world of fraternity pledging and how it contributes to hazing deaths
 
Pi Kappa Phi fraternity spokesman Todd Shelton confirmed to ABC News that an "associate member" of the national organization's Beta Eta Chapter at Florida State University had died at an off-campus residence Friday. Shelton said all chapter operations are currently suspended and its members have been directed to fully cooperate with the death investigation.
 
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the student’s family and friends," Pi Kappa Phi CEO Mark E. Timmes said in a statement obtained by ABC News. “We appreciate the partnership and support from the Division of Student Affairs during this difficult time."
 
ABC News' Matthew Stone and Kevin Kraus contributed to this report.

© 2017 ABC News


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