A Drexel University medical student fell to his death early Saturday morning in Philadelphia’s Spring Garden section while, police say, he and friends were rooftop-jumping.
Vivek Subramani, a third-year Drexel College of Medicine student, fell from a balcony, according to a statement issued Saturday afternoon by John Fry, president of the university.
“There are no words to express the sense of loss when any young life is cut so short, and especially for someone with so much promise,” Fry said.
The university’s version of events differs from a police report issued earlier in the day.
Police said a 23-year-old man had died after missing his mark while jumping from rooftop to rooftop on the 1200 block of Buttonwood Street. Police said he fell two stories, hitting his head on the ground, where people with him performed CPR until medics arrived. According to Fry’s statement, Subramani was with two friends, also medical students, at the time he fell.
Police said the students told them they had been drinking at an event earlier in the evening and were rooftop-jumping when Subramani plunged to the ground shortly before 2 a.m. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, police said.
No evidence of narcotics was found and there were no signs of foul play, police said.
According to Subramani’s Facebook page, he graduated from Drexel University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences before entering medical school there. He attended South Brunswick High School in New Jersey.
When asked about the discrepancy between the university’s version of events and the police report, Drexel spokesperson Niki Gianakaris said in an email: “The Philadelphia Police Department is handling the investigation so they would be the ones to confirm any details about the incident.”
Sgt. Eric Gripp, a police spokesperson, said the police report issued around noon Saturday is the only available information, based on detectives’ investigation. He said their report says that “witnesses stated that they were jumping between rooftops of their apartment.” Gripp called it “a tragic accident.”
Fry’s statement, addressed to “Members of the Drexel Community,” said Drexel’s Counseling Center is available to all students in need of support. Counseling professionals can be reached by calling 215-895-1415 or, after regular business hours, at 215-416-3337. They can also be contacted at email@example.com or by visiting the Creese Student Center, Suite 201, on campus.
Drexel’s Office of Spiritual and Religious Life is also available to all members of the university community, Fry said. Contact information is available on the Student Life website.
“My hope is that all in need of healing can find solace in the days ahead,” Fry’s statement concluded.