Police investigate death of William & Mary student

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) – Police are investigating the death of a 20-year-old William & Mary student, early Saturday morning.

Major Greg Riley with the Williamsburg Police Department said they received the call for an unconscious person in the 100 block of Matoaka Court around 1:20 a.m. The College of William & Mary says the emergency call was about a student in cardiac arrest.

Medics transported the student to Riverside Hospital where he was pronounced deceased around 2 a.m.

The school has identified the student as Tiancheng “Austin” Zheng, a junior from Suzhou, China.

The death is still under investigation.

The College of William & Mary released the following statement to the community:

Dear William & Mary Community,

With deep sadness I am writing to tell you of the death of one of our students, Tiancheng “Austin” Zheng, a junior from Suzhou, China. Shortly after 2:00 a.m. today, medics and the Williamsburg Police responded to a 911 call about a student in cardiac arrest at an off-campus location. Austin was then transported to Riverside Doctor’s Hospital.

A dean’s list student studying biology and art, Austin was an active member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Prior to coming to the United States for college, he worked as a teaching assistant with New Channel Education Group, helping professional English instructors in TOEFL and SAT classes and working closely with high school students to build their English vocabulary and reading skills. Austin expressed a special interest in both health and the cultural arts.

Since learning this tragic news, members of the student affairs staff and the W&M police have been offering direct assistance to those who were closest to Austin. The Dean of Students Office, the Counseling Center, Residence Life, campus ministers, and my office are on-call throughout the weekend and available on a priority basis for those who need us. Counselors can be reached any time by phone at 757-221-3620. I will send a follow-up message in the coming days once we have information about funeral and/or memorial arrangements.

Today’s tragedy reminds us of how close we are to one another at William & Mary. What affects one of us affects us all. I know you join me in extending our heartfelt sympathies to Austin’s family and his many friends.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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