CARRBORO, N.C. — Police believe a UNC-Chapel Hill freshman from Charlotte found dead in Carrboro on Saturday night likely fell from a piece of machinery at a concrete company hours before his death.
David Shannon, 18, was pledging a fraternity at UNC, but at this time authorities believe he was alone at the time of his death.
'It was originally dispatched as a cardiac arrest," said Lt. Chris Atack of the Carrboro Police Department.
However, first responders quickly learned that was not the case. Witnesses say they had seen Shannon drinking alcohol late Friday night. But it was hours later around 10:30 p.m. Saturday when fellow students found the former camp counselor and youth leader, lifeless below a conveyer belt at the Ready Mixed Concrete Plant.
"They're devastated but the support of their family and friends and neighbors, is really helping to lift them up right now,” said Brian Joyner, a close family friend who knew Shannon most of his life.
Police believe Shannon climbed a piece of equipment and fell from some 17 feet in the air onto the concrete. Footsteps can still be found on the machine, a tragic reminder of his horrific accident.
"[He] suffered some sort of injuries, several injuries, and was able to crawl a little bit away from the actual impact site, and he was located in that same vicinity,” said Lt. Atack.
Authorities do not know why Shannon fell from the machine. Although foul play is not suspected in the incident, police are actively investigating why Shannon was there to begin with.
"This case is a tragedy regardless of what the causality was. You have a young man in his first year of college away from home, and dies as a result of this, that is a tragedy,” said Lt. Atack.
Through the tragedy the people that knew Shannon best are remembering his life; as an athletic, talented and driven young man, and a Tar Heel at heart.
"He was just an outstanding citizen, outstanding student and outstanding person. He's going to be greatly missed,” said Shannon's high school football coach Greg Taylor.
Police say it will take at least a month or two for toxicology reports to come in. Meanwhile, Shannon's funeral will take place Saturday at 1 p.m., at Carmel Baptist Church in Charlotte. The funeral is open to the public.
The David Shannon Memorial Fund is set up in his memory:
Anyone wanting to donate can contact:
UNC Office of University Advancement
208 West Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514