An autopsy report on FAMU band member Robert Champion showed the 26-year-old student died within an hour of the hazing incident that shook the Tallahassee university and led to the band director’s resignation.
Documents show the hazing ritual, which involved two phases of physical abuse, was the price to pay to be accepted in the inner circle of the band’s percussion section.
The report, which was released Wednesday, stated Champion told others he was tired and thirsty after being hit several times. Then his vision dimmed, and he went into cardiac arrest.
The medical examiner’s office stated in the report that Champion died of hemorrhagic shock caused by the hazing. The shock was caused by soft tissue damage from the hits, but his organs were not damaged.
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Drum major Champion died Nov. 19 when a group of band members attacked him after a Florida Classic football game in Orlando. Thirteen people were charged with his death, and their arrest affidavits were also released Wednesday.
Eleven are charged with felony hazing, and two face misdemeanor charges.
The affidavits paint a picture of ritualistic hazing within the Marching 100. The two-step hazing started with a “hot seat,” where the person sits on a bus seat, bends over and lets other members hit him or her. During the second stage, called “crossing over,” the participant walks from the front to the back of the bus, being pushed and hit by others along the way.
Documents show Champion wasn’t the only hazing victim on the bus that day. The other two band members didn’t suffer serious injuries.