David Shannon 911 calls lend detail to investigation


After not hearing from him all day, friends of freshman David Shannon went looking for him Saturday night, tracking the location of his cellphone.

At 10:34 p.m., they found him unresponsive and not breathing at the Ready Mixed Concrete Plant on Guthrie Avenue in Carrboro.

The discovery touched off a frantic, desperate scene documented by two 911 calls released to The Daily Tar Heel on Tuesday.

In one call, which lasted about 90 seconds, a friend described the condition of Shannon’s body.

“His face is purple, and he’s got cuts all over him,” the friend told a 911 dispatcher.

The dispatcher then instructed the friend to hang up because another dispatcher was on the phone with another member of the group.

The other call, which lasts about six minutes and 30 seconds, provides a more complete account of the panic that ensued.

The friend told the dispatcher multiple times in the call that Shannon wasn’t breathing.

The dispatcher instructed him to attempt to revive Shannon by performing chest compressions.

The friend performed more than 55 compressions, sobbing harder with each one, before paramedics arrived and the call ended at 10:40 p.m.

Sometime early Saturday morning, Shannon fell 40 feet after climbing machinery at the plant.

He hit concrete, sustaining serious injuries, according to preliminary autopsy results referenced in a Tuesday release from Carrboro police.

Shannon was found about 90 yards from where he hit the ground, indicating that he was still able to move after the fall.

Police also said alcohol may have been a contributing factor in his death, though toxicology reports could take months to complete.

The department will investigate whether Shannon’s role in fraternity life played a role in his death, Carrboro police said. But in the release, police said there is no evidence at this time to indicate hazing played a role.

Shannon was a pledge in the Chi Phi fraternity.

“Hazing, in light of Mr. Shannon’s fraternity membership and the timing of the conclusion of the pledge process, has been one avenue that this investigation has explored,” the release stated.

Jack Partain, president of the Interfraternity Council, has asked chapter presidents to cancel all Halloween events out of respect for Shannon’s memory.

Contact the desk editor at city@dailytarheel.com.

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