Campus News

BREAKING: Student found dead by suicide at Agnes Arnold Hall

[alert type=”yellow”]A photo that once accompanied this article has been removed because it is insensitive and widely regarded as offensive. [/alert]

A student was found dead by suicide Wednesday morning in the outside basement of Agnes Arnold Hall.

“It happened sometime between close of business yesterday and 7 a.m.,” said University spokesperson Mike Rosen, who confirmed they were a student.

Five UHPD officers were at the scene preventing passersby from looking at the scene.

“I don’t know exactly what happened — just saw blood. I think it’s still under investigation,” said  political science freshman Brittney Grimm.

Classes on other floors of Agnes Arnold Hall, which is 6 stories tall, continued without issue, multiple students said.

HPD declined to comment.

The number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

[email protected]


  • Take this pic down, please. It’s not necessary and in poor form.
    Classes continued, but were quickly moved around to avoid the area while our emergency professionals did their work.

  • If you are a UH student experiencing a crisis situation and need to speak with someone immediately, please contact CAPS at 713.743.5454 and you will be connected to the consultant on duty. If it is after business hours and you are in imminent crisis, please call 911 or CAPS at 713.743.5454 and you will be connected to the after-hours counselor.

    We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. 1-800-273-8255.

  • I find it shocking, tacky, and inconsiderate to have posted a picture of bloodstains from a student, presumably a young person, having leaped to their death.

    Suicide is not a spectator sport, and pictures like these sensationalize and trivialize a serious matter, that is the darkest moments of a persons life and a tragedy for those closest to the deceased.

    I am requesting that you take down this picture to save the integrity of the school and this paper. This is certainly not putting Houston’s best foot forward.

    • it’s a photo of the aftermath. How is it inconsiderate? The persons name wasn’t mentioned, their body not shown, nothing about them but their death was reported.
      Suicide is not a spector sport, but pictures like these do not do any of those things listed. A video would for sure. A picture of what’s left after?
      This is about you and your beliefs, I am requesting that you take down this comment and focus attention on the living who may try to follow in this late persons footsteps.

    • And I am requesting this picture is left where it is and even more detailed photos are taken to report this story. This is what the real world is like; there is grief, tragedy and violence. We can’t just look at butterflies and rainbows all the time. Hard pill to swallow, isn’t it?

      • Love bug, we are aware of everything you’re saying — so much more than you realize. But the point we are all trying to make is that …just because you’re right doesn’t mean that it’s right, even if you have the right. Out of maturity we say take the picture down but clearly you’re not there yet.

        • Hello dear, firstly I’d like to say that if you take the fluff out of your comment, it could be summarized in about 5 words. I assume you were trying to sound important. Secondly, maturity does not mean whining about having something removed for everyone else because it does not suit your taste. Children are the ones that throw tantrums when they do not get what they want.

  • Folks, it’s the job of the press to document and show us reality. Sometimes reality is harsh, grim, and unpleasant. A disclaimer/warning slide may be in order, but don’t demand they erase or remove this. Pretending like there aren’t severe consequences to suicide does nothing but disrespect the victims and their families. Spread awareness. Seek help. Let’s do what we can to prevent these tragedies.

    • Is it also the job of the press to disrespect a child who has died, and the family and friends who are atill grieving? Is the job of the press to make a spectacle of tragedy within the community they serve?

      • You’re right! The media should shelter us from anything that happens to protect our feelings.

        As a future journalist, it’s not always easy. We DO, however, have an obligation to share news as quickly as possible. The student’s name and the details of the event were not disclosed, and therefore there was no disrespect. The article was published to keep people in the loop.

        In the real world, bad things happen. Bad things are still considered news.

        • This misses the point. No one disagrees that unfortunate news ought to be covered promptly by the media, even in spite of people’s sensitivities. They disagree, however, that the inclusion of a bloody photograph is tactful or respectful of the bereaved’s loved ones and friends. For instance, blood doesn’t gross me out. But if I knew that hundreds were ogling the blood of, say, my parents, then I would be infuriated. It has nothing to do with avoiding disgust or not wanting to be traumatized. Manners may seem arbitrary, but they still exist for a reason and it’s important to recognize them as such. This is especially true if you’re a “future journalist”; journalism is notoriously stigmatized as a pretadory institution, for exactly the kinds of reasons discussed here. Quickly covering an important story does not require uninformative, disrespectful flourishes as in the article above. You can do your (future?) job perfectly well without that. You might object that the information was necessary. But it’s difficult to see how: they gave the location, the time, told us authorities were investigating, and so on. We all know that suicide is horrific and sometimes bloody. Showing a picture of bloodstains is not informative in the journalistic sense you’re talking about.

      • Ew…HoustonCoog, whoever you are, please just go away. I applaud The Daily Cougar for doing their job. If it wasn’t for them, many would not even know about this tragic moment. We students receive alerts about everything under the sun that happens on our campus, but absolute silence on this matter. I have checked my e-mail multiple times throughout the day hoping to read something put out by UH, but nothing. Deafening silence is all that I hear. Shameful. I only heard about it through a GroupMe that I am a part of, and then decided to walk by the area where I spoke with another friend about it. HoustonCoog, is it the picture that you are upset about? Bad things happen in this world all the time, and sheltering us from reality only makes it worse. This entire country, as a whole, makes decisions too lightly that affect the lives of others in this world because we are too sheltered from reality by the media. If people had a truer view of the destruction and death that our actions cause, then maybe we wouldn’t be so quick to make those life threatening decisions. As for having respect for this students family, something tells me that their family would not want their child’s death to be so easily forgotten about, which is what it seems UH admins would like. Not a word from professors, not a single e-mail alert, nothing. This is a sad thing that took place, and it should serve as a reminder to be kind to one another, to help each other out as much as possible, and to remember that we are all in a highly stressful environment that demands so much from us every single day. This is not a spectacle of tragedy, it is an awareness of reality.

        • I understand your sentiment, but please don’t be too quick to judge the University. In the aftermath, it is not as black and white as it seems. If only it were. Research/google “suicide contagium effect.” It’s real. It happens. Look at NYU. Three jumpers in three months. Sad, but true. I worked there for 7 years and not a year went by without a suicide, usually more than one. And these were the ones we knew about/happened on campus, not counting the ones while they were at home. I don’t know that there is a rght or wrong way to respond when this happens in a highly susceptible community. It isn’t black and white. It isn’t simple by any means. Just something to consider as you process this tragedy. I know it was a significant learning curve for me when first exposed to the harsh reality of trying to do the right, the respectful, the appropriate, and responsible thing after a student death.

      • There are policies and procedures that the university must follow, which is why the university has not released an official statement. They will as soon as they are able. In my opinion, the inclusion of the picture and the method of suicide, was insensitive of the family and it can result in an increase in suicide attempts and fatal suicides on campus. Regardless of whether you think it’s “sheltering” the population or not to include the picture, no one wants another family to lose a child. Research has consistedly demonstrated that pictures and method knowledge can increase suicide.

  • Look all these saints asking for picture to be taken down… if you’re too weak-minded and squeamish to to live life maybe you should box yourself in a bubble and never interact with the world. There is nothing wrong with showing photos of an investigation scene. It provides valuable information. If you don’t have the guts to look at it, then look away.

    • You’re entirely missing the point of people’s request. It isn’t out of a sense of discomfort that people want the picture removed; it’s easy enough to see blood and gore, and a lot of people are desensitized to that anyway (and hence don’t fall for the sensationalism of violent pictures). Instead, there is a certain level of respect and decorum expected by the family and friends of those lost, who might not appreciate hundreds of people ogling the blood of their loved one. It’s just a matter of time and place. Similarly, one shouldn’t be upset at a family member who wants the casket closed at a wake. It has nothing to do with being grossed out by violence or gore, and everything to do with tact. Arbitrary as that may seem, like all manners, it developed for a reason. In this case, the reason is respect for the bereaved.

    • I’m a survivor of suicide and my boyfriend killed himself two years ago. I’m not “weak.” This photohraph is unnecessarily traumatic and it’s ridiculous to defend it.

    • What valuable information does it provide? Are you going to investigate this incident based on a single blurry photo of a bloodstain? You think the issue is that everyone is too sensitive, when in fact most of those disagreeing with you have seen far more gory, traumatic, tragic and disgusting things in life than a photo of blood. The issue isn’t the world is too sensitive. The issue is you don’t understand social norms and are scared of reactions that you don’t understand. You feel like you’re special because you’re tougher than everyone else but really, it looks like to even a random internet commenter that you are projecting your own mental and social weakness onto others. Peace out girl scout

      • it provides quite a bit of information actually. Enough for an individual that would like to stay informed and wants to think for himself to make his own inferences based on what is seen; instead of taking in every word from someone else. Also you are contradicting yourself.. how can this photo be so offensive to you when is so blurry and just a blood stain? Are you seriously so sensitive that a pixelated resemblance of a red liquid on the ground offends you?

  • Suicide should be seen for what it is. It’s the job of journalists to use the means that will best document the situation. If it offends you then don’t look. You can’t bubble wrap the whole world to protect your sensitivites.

    • How is this picture informative in any sense? That suicides can be bloody? Close to home? Investigated? Everyone knows that suicide is horrific, not just you. The reason people want the picture taken down is not to protect their own sensitivities; it’s a matter of basic respect for the bereaved, who probably don’t want hundreds of people ogling the blood of their loved one. Simple tact, is all.

      • Journalism doesn’t revolve around what some consider basic respect to be but based on how to best document the situation.

        • This isn’t a question about what journalists typically do. It’s a normative question about what they ought to do. And they can perfectly convey the relevant information without violating the dignity and respect of the bereaved. Again, unless you can give examples of how the photo is informative in anyway useful way above the article itself. It would be especially persuasive if this information is important enough to justify the possible harm done by the picture.

          • Who defines and tells others what they ought to do? I do not see such laws in this matter. So is it just you pushing your ideas and what YOU want to do on others?

  • It’s always a tough call to make when deciding how much you should show of events like this. Journalists/publications grapple with this all the time and it’s an evolving topic. (50 years ago the papers published photos of Bobby Kennedy bleeding out. On 9/11 it was the photo of the falling man.) This picture does not show a body, does not identify the student and is not especially graphic – if you weren’t told what had happened here, you may assume it had been a much milder incident. There are no hard and fast rules in photojournalism regarding what photos you can/can’t publish and it’s mostly up to case by case discretion. In fact, in a lot of cases it’s preferable to publish a photo of blood or the scene rather than the body, out of respect for the dead. In this case, I believe the photo is not used for shock value and is a good balance of First Amendment Rights and respect for the deceased.

  • Most of the discussion here is about the photo, which is a good indicator that it does not service the story itself but rather detracts from it. Does it add anything to the article? I don’t think so. Does it do any harm? Consider that there will be students who will see this photo, and only later learn that the person was a friend of theirs, or they had a class together. This photo will make that revelation all the more traumatic for them. Consider that this persons parents might look to see what was reported about their child, only to find this photo. The student reporters are removed from these effects, and likely never even considered them.

    There are at lease “50 studies that certain types of news coverage can increase
    the likelihood of suicide in vulnerable individuals” Further, “Risk of additional suicides increases when the story explicitly describes the suicide method (they would have if police had commented, guarantee), uses dramatic/graphic headlines (BREAKING!) or images (see above), and repeated/extensive coverage sensationalizes or glamorizes a death (hopefully they at least avoid this one).”

      • Thank you. It’s easy to become numb to all the horrific things we see on the Internet. It’s just different when it’s someone you love.

    • I’m a student and I’ve been thinking about your nephew all day and grieving; despite not knowing him, it’s been weighing heavy for me. I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss.

      • Have they released who the student was? I have an old coworker who was a student there and went missing a week and a half ago.

        • They haven’t yet. The school has not made a statement as of right now regarding any information on the incident. I hope it wasn’t your coworker. Best of wishes to you and them!

    • I am so sorry, Andrew… What was your nephew’s name? I’ll keep him in my prayers. I wish you and your family the best.

  • What this article neglects to mention is that the University didn’t inform anybody about this, especially the professors. The professor for my first class only knew about it because we had to change classrooms, and the professor for my next class, which is also in Agnes Arnold, only found out about it when I emailed her to ask if our class was changing locations. There’s a serious communication problem when students are informing professors of incidents and not vice versa.

  • Y’all are babies. We are all adults here so quit being so sensitive. It’s a picture of BLOOD not a PERSON for crying out loud. If the article had just shown a pic of the building no one would have known what happened like persay if they died or not or what the circumstances were. It would be silly to just have a pic of only a building. Not saying there should be pics with blood but the journalists here is trying to capture the story to let us know the situation

  • This is a really shocking and sad event.
    Shame they ended up this way.
    I hope we will be able to avoid any more tragedies like this in the future.

    I am also shocked that I first find out about this occurrence through a facebook message a friend sent me.
    I’ve been on campus since before 9.00 am this morning and haven’t heard or seen anything about it from either professors or other students until now (6.30 pm).

    I think the journalist(s) here did a professional job. They gave a time, a place, and an event, as well as a photograph proving that there has indeed been a gruesome occurrence taking place.
    The identity of the student remains anonymous, no personal info or identifiable imagery was disclosed.

  • Please review the best practices for reporting on death by suicide as developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

    Including photographs of the location is sensationalist and can contribute to an increase in copycat suicides. AFSP recommends using a school, work, or family photo and including hotline information. Removing details regarding the manner of death and using the phrase “died by suicide” instead of “committed suicide” are important steps to take to minimize copycat suicides and to decrease the stigma surrounding suicide. Also, it is imperative to include the contact information for a suicide prevention helpline for any readers who may be currently struggling.

    If you or someone you know personally is struggling with suicidal ideations, please call

  • This is terribly sad. Also, at this same time there is a mother looking for her missing son who is a UH student. I hope she was informed whether or not this incident involved him. Otherwise, I wouldn’t want her to worry or find out this way. The family should be told and asked first, respect their wishes, and make this clear in the article. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to all students, family and community in this tragic loss. Let us remember how precious life is and the moments we have together. Share in kindness, and don’t sweat or yell about small things. We take so much in life for granted until they are gone and we miss even the little things that used to bother us. Hugs to grieving friends and family who are missing a loved one. May the power of love draw you closer, lending you strength and peace of mind at this difficult time.

  • My heart goes out to his family but I can’t seem to find the cause of death. If the rumors are true that the suspected cause was jumping off the building, I feel like someone has a duty to the deceased to ask a simple question: how do we know he wasn’t pushed. All deaths need to be fully investigated to ensure that a murderer hasn’t gotten away with his crime.

    Once again, this is not in any way meant to be disrespectful, but I truly hope if that is what happened, security cameras are being reviewed and people are being questioned.

  • It is the job of the photo journalist to encapsulate a moment in time. Often, the direct impact of such upon others isn’t immediately understood or considered. The occupation is dependent on instinctively raising a camera at a moment’s notice to capture a visual that stirs emotion. Sometimes emotions they relate to. Sometimes emotions they know others will relate to. To the photographer, most of the greatest photographers in modern history had something in common. They knew when happenstance brought them to an image that the world needed to see, not to hesitate. And that very binding characteristic is the only reason those images have resonated through time. Sometimes to remind us not to repeat our mistakes. Sometimes to teach us how to be better humans. Continue to capture moments. Let individuals determine how they feel about them.

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