Police Investigate Sudden Death of College Drum Major

By Arielle Milkman

Nov 21, 2011 2:14pm

ht robert champion dm 111121 wblog Police Investigate Sudden Death of College Drum MajorSchool officials are awaiting autopsy results on the death of a 26-year-old drum major from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

Robert Champion died after he was found unresponsive on the marching band’s bus in Orlando Saturday night. Friends tried CPR and called 911. Champion was rushed to Dr. Philipps hospital but did not live through the night, said Capt. Angelo Nieves of Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Nieves said the sheriff’s office is following up on investigative interviews with the full cooperation of the university, and may have a statement once the medical examiner’s office releases the autopsy report later today.

Friends of Champion told investigators the drum major had trouble breathing before he lost consciousness. Police said they do not suspect foul play, but the investigation is ongoing.

Champion’s father, also named Robert, said his son was in good shape, WSBTV.com reported.

“I think he was in pretty good condition. He ate and he trained and had no medical condition that I know of,” Champion said of his son.

Earlier today Pamela Champion, Robert’s mother, said she is waiting to hear back from the medical examiner before speaking publicly about her son.

FAMU has scheduled a memorial for Champion on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.

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