An East Central Community College band member died on campus early Friday morning after he returned to campus following the football team’s away game Thursday night.
Deputy Coroner Rebecca Burton confirmed that Jalen Leavey, 19, of Philadelphia was pronounced dead on campus at 12:22 a.m. Friday. Leavey was a member of the ECCC Wall O’ Sound Marching Band, and he had traveled with the band to Scooba for ECCC’s football game at East Mississippi Community College.
“He was just getting off the bus and walking back to the band hall when he collapsed right there,” Burton said.
Burton said Leavey died of natural causes from a previous medical condition. She could not confirm if the nature of the medical condition being the private information of the family.
Bill Wagnon, vice president for public information, released the following statement on behalf of the college:
“East Central Community College student Jalen Leavey of Philadelphia and a member of the Wall O’ Sound Marching Band died unexpectedly Thursday night after the band returned to campus from the football game against East Mississippi Community College in Scooba. The entire college community is deeply saddened by the passing of Jalen and we ask for prayers for his family, friends, fellow students, and instructors at this time. The college will offer counseling to students and employees through local Weems professionals when campus reopens again on Tuesday following the Labor Day Holiday.”
Philadelphia Superintendent Lisa D. Hull said her school is mourning the loss of their graduate and friend.
“The Tornado Family has a deep heart hurt over the passing of one of our young family members,” Hull said in a Twitter message. “We lift up the family in prayer and are grateful we had to opportunity to be better because of the blessing he was to us.”
Follow the Newton County Appeal for more updates on this developing story.