Brunt ’15 found dead in Gibbs Lab

Davenport College student Zachary Brunt ’15 was found dead Wednesday following an apparent suicide.

Brunt’s body was discovered on the sixth floor of Josiah Willard Gibbs Laboratories early Wednesday afternoon. The police were called by a student shortly after 2 p.m., and he was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. Yale College Dean Mary Miller first informed the Yale community of Brunt’s death in an email at 6:29 p.m., and said there is “no evidence of foul play nor is there any indication of an accident.”

The Yale Police Department is conducting a full investigation into the death, Miller wrote. YPD Chief Ronnell Higgins deferred comment on the investigation to the Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

Davenport College Master Richard Schottenfeld ’71 MED ’76 held a meeting at his house Wednesday evening at which he said the death appeared to be a suicide, students who attended the meeting said. He told students that a final ruling on the cause of death will be made once the autopsy is completed.

“His death is a terrible shock to all of us, and we hope that we will be able to give each other comfort and support this evening and in the days ahead,” Schottenfeld wrote in an email to Davenport freshmen.

University Secretary Linda Lorimer said Wednesday evening she was “not in a position to offer any more details” on the circumstances of Brunt’s death, adding that the state medical examiner will have to confirm the cause of death.

Reached Wednesday evening, the state medical examiner’s office declined to comment.

Schottenfeld said he spoke to Brunt’s parents Wednesday afternoon and expects to meet with them when they arrive in New Haven today.

Brunt was slated to travel to Houston, Texas, on Thursday to take a zero-gravity flight and conduct physics research with four other students and their adviser, Physics Department Instructional Laboratory Director Stephen Irons. Joseph O’Rourke ’12, the group’s student leader, said they have canceled their plans in light of the tragedy.

A University-wide candlelight vigil will be held in the Davenport courtyard at 8 p.m. tonight.

Comments

  • mydreamschool

    so tragic! He sounds like a vibrant student who had his whole life ahead of him and it just got cut short! So sad. Condolences to his family and friends. It makes me happy though, that Yale is such a close community, mourning one of their own together with the vigil and all. Good research as well in the article with his friends’ comments!