Police investigate ‘apparent suicide’ at Hendrie Hall

UPDATE: 4:52 p.m. School of Music employee John Miller MUS ’07 jumped from the fourth story window of Hendrie Hall at 165 Elm St. and was discovered early this morning, New Haven Police Department spokesman Officer Dave Hartman said.

Yale School of Music Dean Robert Blocker first identified Miller in an email sent around 8 a.m. to students, faculty and staff of the school. Miller, a trombonist, is the school’s manager of community programs. A Yale employee passing near the parking lot after the incident said the victim’s responsibilities included organizing music students who work with New Haven Public Schools students. (Read a News story on the program Miller organized.)

Yale Police are investigating the incident, Hartman said.

University Spokesman Tom Conroy declined to comment on details of the incident and the identity of anyone involved. University spokeswoman Kianti Roman confirmed that the incident was an “apparent suicide” and said the University is attempting to notify the family.

Vice President and University Secretary Linda Lorimer informed the Yale community of Miller’s death in a campus-wide email at 3:51 p.m. Thursday.

“John was well-known and much admired at Yale and in the New Haven and wider communities,” Lorimer wrote.

In addition to his job at the School of Music, Miller served as music director at New Haven’s John C. Daniels School. He spearheaded a program that sent School of Music students to teach at Daniels, which sends promising students to the selective Connecticut Music Educators Association Southern Regional Middle School Concert Festival annually.

“[The School] has many students that build relationships with young musicians,” Miller told the News in March 2010. “It’s very motivating for kids [to see] what they could be if they continue performing and practicing.”

Morris Sumpter, a cook at the Graduate Club adjacent to Hendrie Hall at 155 Elm Street, said he swiped into work at 6:22 a.m. and looked out the window by 6:25 a.m. to see Miller lying on the pavement.

Two Yale custodians were the first to arrive at the scene, Sumpter said. Members of the fire department arrived shortly afterward and tried to perform CPR on the victim, he said. Police then towed a car from the parking lot while an ambulance transported Miller to the hospital, a Yale custodian who works in Hendrie Hall said.

At about 10 a.m., police investigators were removing a bloody tie and other clothing from the rear of Hendrie Hall, a School of Music building. There was also blood on the pavement of the parking lot, approximately 10 feet back from the building. Two fourth story windows overlooking the rear of Hendrie Hall remain open and have no screens.

A portion of the parking lot behind Hendrie Hall has been sealed off, and the building is closed until further notice, a police officer at the front of the building said. Hendrie Hall houses the School of Music’s brass, percussion and opera departments, along with practice spaces and faculty offices for undergraduate musical organizations.

Check back for more updates.

Correction

An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the John C. Daniels School.

Comments

  • elchapin

    he worked with kids at John C. Daniels not charles he was well known and we will all miss him dearly