NCCU student collapses, dies on campus

jalexander@newsobserver.comFebruary 12, 2014 

— His friends and aunt stood outside across the street crying, watching forensics detectives examine his lifeless body.

No one knew how the 20-year-old N.C. Central University student who loved the theater had died. He just fell, friends said. DeVonté Squire had been complaining earlier of a headache, according to his aunt, Danitra Squire.

Campus Police Chief Timothy Bellamy said the death appeared to be the result of natural causes. Police blocked off Lawson Street, which runs between Fayetteville Street and South Alston Avenue on the university’s north side.

Danitra Squire, who lived not far from campus, said she got a call at 6:30 p.m. Monday from DeVonté’s friends that he had fallen and something was wrong. When she got there campus police were on the scene. Streets were blocked off. At 7:50 p.m., forensics detectives had arrived.

“I saw him just the day before,” Danitra Squire said. “He called me and said he would like a home-cooked meal.”

According to his aunt, DeVonté Squire, a theater transfer student, was the oldest of four kids from Weldon. Danitra Squire had to make the devastating phone call to DeVonté Squire’s mother.

“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” she said. “To tell my sister that her son died.” Danitra Squire said DeVonté’s mother could not grasp the notion that her oldest son had died.

She described DeVonté Squire as loving kid who would bend over backwards for his family and friends. She said he was different but that made him who he was and she said she loved him for that.

“He was a good kid,” Danitra Squire said. “He was a good kid.”

School officials offered their condolences through a written release Monday night, announcing that the university would make counselors available for bereaved students.

“The loss of any member of our Eagle family is very difficult, and I would ask that we come together and support one another in the hours, days and weeks to come,” Chancellor Debra Saunders-White said.

A vigil on campus to honor Squire will be scheduled, the university said.

Alexander: 919-932-2008; Twitter: @jonmalexander1

Durham News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service